Friday, November 12, 2010

Go to God first, not last

I am reading Joshua in the Old Testament, New International Version, now. Since I am a natural fraidy cat, I love the fact that God is continually reassuring Joshua and the Israelites.

Joshua 1:9 in various forms appears frequently in this book. It is one of my favorite verses:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I just finished Chapter 9, another favorite part of the book of Joshua that struck me forcefully as a young adult. The episode where the Gibeonites pull a fast one on Joshua and the leaders of Israel helped me realize that God is interested and willing and ready to help us make decisions. Again, that has helped me since in the decision-making process my natural inclination is to be “FIRMLY wishy-washy.”

Joshua depended on his advisers and what he could discern with his physical senses when he agreed to make a treaty with the emissaries of Gibeon. Oops! The crafty Gibeonites looked the part of travelers from afar. They probably smelled like it, too, from the description of their preparations in Joshua 9:3-6.

The stakes were high. Peoples living near the lands God promised the Israelites were to be destroyed; a treaty was a possibility for those living farther away. Joshua 9:14 indicates the Israelites checked out the condition of their visitors' provisions such as bread that was moldy, supposedly from days on the road, but didn't seek God's leadership.

I find it comforting that in today’s world, as in the book of Joshua, God is with me wherever I go and whatever decisions I face. I can "inquire of the Lord". . . and if I goof up, he is still with me.


  1. Well, yes! You've probably never seen a bigger fraidy cat then me! I was just telling a friend that we know in our minds that we should pray and rest in God's protection, but somehow our emotions get in the way! We can't always trust our emotions, but we CAN trust God. Still, my fears...I often wish I was one of the braver ones...and I've actually taught a bible class on fear, too!

  2. so now Ginny and i have a 3rd sister, we are both fraidy cats and firmly wishy washy. welcome to our club of what we call chicken littles. I started to sing the song when i read thee words
    Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
    I love that verse and the song. have you heard it?

  3. Sandra - Awright! I'm an official chicken little! Don't think I know the song. Bet I would love it too.