I realize that everyone is different, but on our family vacations we like to do very little. We bring books to read, play golf a few times, but most of all Rita and I enjoy having our devotions together…something we seldom get to do in our normal schedule. We get up at the same time, fix breakfast, and then take our coffee and Bibles out to the porch to enjoy the sunshine, the birds, and then read and pray together.
You’d be surprised how often we have received some significant direction for our lives or family, or received encouragement from the Lord during these times of rest.
Today was no different for me.
We have both used the same Bible reading plan for years…five chapters; one from the history books, one from the poets, one from the prophets, one from the Gospels and then the epistles. It provides a comprehensive exposure to the whole counsel of God at one sitting.
Well, this vacation in Phoenix, I brought my old NIV Study Bible down with me, planning on leaving it here for future visits. I love using a Study Bible because of the commentary that elaborates and sometimes clarifies a verse or sets context for a story.
So, this morning, in the normal sequence of my readings in the history books of the Bible, I “happened” to be starting Joshua.
I took the time to read the introductory material to Joshua and it hit me.
I grabbed my phone and started typing the following e mail to my married children…
“…this e mail is for you and your children and their children should the Lord tarry.
I brought my old NIV Study Bible down here to leave, which I am using for quiet time. This morning I started Joshua, and took the time to read the study notes in the intro, and said to Mom that I wonder, when our grandchildren buy study Bibles, will they have conservative Biblical scholarship to inform their faith?
Joshua is an embarrassment to most liberal scholarship, so they pass off the battles and bloodshed as an aberration that couldn’t possibly be attributed to a loving, just God. Surely, they opine, Joshua and the Jews were just power-hungry land-grabbing nationalists, adopting the brutality common for that age.
In stark contrast, listen to some excerpts from my old NIV Study Bible intro to Joshua:
‘Joshua is a story of how God, to whom the whole world belongs, at one stage in the history of redemption, re-conquered a portion of the earth from the powers of this world that had claimed it for themselves.
Joshua is a story of the kingdom of God breaking into the world of nations at a time when national entities were viewed as the creation of their gods and living proof of their power…a warning to the nations that the irresistible advance of the kingdom of God will ultimately disinherit all those who oppose it, giving place in the earth only to those who acknowledge and serve the Lord.’
O…my…word family!!!! Do we always need to hold on to that view of God’s redemptive Story!!