8 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Joshua 3
Psalms 126-128
Isaiah 63
Matthew 11

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Joshua 3:5 (CSB): “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, because the Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

In a blog post that I wrote a few days ago titled, “How to Be Strong and Courageous,” I pointed out that God gave Joshua three principles that could instill strength and courage with him.

  • Joshua 1:6 – he needed to rest in God’s promises.
  • Joshua 1:7-8 – he needed to obey God’s precepts.
  • Joshua 1:9 – he needed to acknowledge God’s presence.

So, how does it work for us? How can we, for instance, rest in God’s promises so that we are given strength and courage like Joshua?

Quite a few years ago, back when Kim and I were newlyweds, I worked as a machinist. It was a skill I acquired while working my way through college and it paid reasonably well.

The only problem was that in the late 90’s, the textile industry was taking a huge hit. Lots of American jobs were going to Mexico. The business at which I was employed had already gone through a layoff. I survived the first one but we continued to see less and less work coming our way.

When would the next layoff happen? Would I survive it?

I remember having a very, very troubled spirit during that time. I wanted to take care of my wife and we needed money to survive. So, I spent much time in prayer and in my Bible. In fact, when some of my co-workers would hear the bell to signify that it was break-time or lunchtime, they would head to the breakroom or outside. Since the work area was vacated, I would typically pull a chair up to a table, prop my feet up on the oil-stained table, and spend time in God’s Word.

On one particularly troubling day, I was reading through Joshua. I came to Joshua 3:5, the verse I have chosen as our verse for today. As I read those words, my eyes widened and my heartrate elevated. It seemed as if God was giving that verse to me!

Joshua 3:5 (CSB): “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, because the Lord will do wonders among you tomorrow.’”

As I closed my Bible and got out of my chair, I had a pep in my step. I didn’t know what God was going to do tomorrow but I was relying on a promise that He had just given to me. Yes, the promise was originally intended for Joshua and the Israelites but I had a clear impression that God had now given that promise to me and it was giving me strength and courage.

The next day, I went to work a bit anxious. Did I really hear from the Lord? Was He really going to do something special today? If so, what? Would I be disappointed that it had nothing to do with job security and my employer getting more work?

The plant supervisor and I were great friends so he periodically gave me information that wasn’t common knowledge. Sometime before lunch, he came by my work station and quietly said, “Hey Matt, I’ve got some great news! We just got an order that will keep us busy for weeks!”

I was so excited and relieved! Layoffs still might happen but they weren’t going to happen for at least a couple of months. I told Marty about my encounter with God’s Word the previous day and how God gave Joshua 3:5 to me. He was a Christian, too, so he looked at me and said, “God is awesome, isn’t He!”

Friend, you can’t simply rip a verse out of the Bible and claim it as your own. But there will be times when God takes one of the promises that He has made to someone else in Scripture … and give that same promise to you.

Your Bible isn’t simply a dead, lifeless book. It is living! It is active! And God often speaks through it to give you exactly what you need.

So, enjoy your time in God’s Word. Listen for what He is saying to you. Learn how God talks to you through His Word. Listen for a promise that God would desire to give to you. And then grow in your faith, in strength, and in courage!

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, just as Joshua became “strong and courageous” as he rested in Your promises, I also want to experience that joy. Please help me to develop the ability to hear Your voice and understand what You are saying to me. Help me to realize that there will be times in which You speak to me directly through Your Word. Thank You for Your promises. Amen.