Thursday, March 3 Devotion

from Beverly Abajian

Reading:  Psalm 32; Joshua 4: 1-13; II Corinthians 4:16

II Corinthians 4:16 states, “ Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”  verses 17 & 18 go on to say that our troubles are just temporary and they are working for our good.  That is hard to fathom when we are in the midst of the storms and tribulations of life.  But compared to the light of eternity they are miniscule.

            This outward man not only can represent the physical ( aging, illness) it can represent our flesh as well to include our negative emotions, attitudes and our sinful hearts.  However as these things go away (perish), hopefully our spirits are growing and being strengthened and renewed by His Word, Truth, Mercy and Grace.

            In Psalm 32:3, the Psalmist says that, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old…”  And in verse 4 “…My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.” However in verse 5, he repented and asked for forgiveness for his sin, thus renewing his inner man.

In Joshua 4:1-13 we see that Joshua was called to lead this new generation of Israelites to cross the Jordan river when it was at flood stage.  Their parents had died in the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea with Moses .  They did not trust God to take care of them and they murmured and complained as they roamed the desert for 40 years and finally died off.  So their descendants have not yet experienced the direct miracles of God.  Joshua on the other hand, had been a disciple of Moses and witnessed many miracles and provision of the Israelites from the Lord.

In Joshua 3, the Lord showed his might by drying up the flooding Jordan and letting them pass over on dry ground.  However, the priests who were carrying the ark were commanded to stand in the middle holding up the Ark of the covenant.   They definitely needed faith. 

Psalm 32:6 comforts us in this, “…Surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him.”

The Lord also instructs Joshua that the heads of the 12 tribes are to each take a stone for remembrance to bring to the place that night when they set up camp at Gilgal.  The stones were to be a memorial to the children of Israel and their descendants. 

            Joshua 4:13 tells us that 40,000 men were being prepared for war to battle.  There was a purpose for this trial.  It made them grow strong in their faith and trust of God.    These are the same things that help us in times of Spiritual warfare.  While we do not use stones to remember, we now have God’s Word and truth to carry us through.  When we look back and see how God carried us through a situation, we can then trust Him to be faithful in the next situation and the next... Thus giving us hope instead of despair and renewing our inner man through it all.