Today’s Reading: Joshua 16-17
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Key Verse: Joshua 17:13
And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.
In the worship of their gods, the Canaanites followed evil practices such as killing their children and offering them as sacrifices. In their temples, as an act of worship, they committed fornication, adultery, pedophilia, perverted sexual acts. God knew, as history will prove to us over our readings of the next seven books, that such corruption would soon influence His people. The “forced labour” would soon become “spiritual and moral saboteurs!”
We may want to ask ourselves, “How are we being influenced by the culture in which we live?” Do we tolerate more easily practices that violate God’s laws for sexual behaviour? Does pedophilia produce a revulsion as it once did? Are we as horrified as we once were at the slaughter of the innocent little lives in abortion? Should these precious lives not have the protection of the state? Is there a general decline in personal and public moral standards? If we answer “Yes,” then we are following the path of Israel. The stories of the moral decline of Israel every three or four generations should be a dire warning to us. Jesus repeated the words twice, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I repent for willingly tolerating moral rot in my generation. You are the Judge in the final analysis, and I must “hold the truth in love.” However, I pray that I will, by Your grace, hold Your standard for human behaviour high, loving people unconditionally, and hating the sin that Your Word declares will ultimately destroy the people You and I love! I weep as I pray for my 10 great-grandchildren in the face of the destruction of the values which sustained my parents in wars, financial collapse, and in family life. God, please help us to be loving and strong in our convictions on right and wrong. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
In some of the recent pictures my son David Reynold has taken for us, they show layer upon layer of City Centres which have been built and destroyed by wars. In our next book to read, we’ll find that Israel’s cities were destroyed by surrounding armies and then rebuilt seven times. Of course the rebuilding did not occur until they had repented of taking on the sinful practices of the people around them. I want to learn from history. It may have been the historian Will Durant who said, “The one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.” I believe that in my own life I can prove that statement wrong. When I took a strong stand in support of the word “marriage” to be for man/woman unions only, the Lord clearly said to me, “David, don’t speak out on this issue unless you have the same attitude Abraham had toward Sodom.” Abraham prayed fervently for their protection. He risked his life for them in war. He introduced them to the King of Righteousness, Melchizedek, a man who represented God (Genesis 14). I cried out to God for Abraham’s attitude, and I believe I received this grace. It was a losing cause, but the struggle for God’s standards will not end until God says, “The End.”
Yours for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven,