Promises vs Threats – Both From God

In growing up, we always knew when we did something that pleased our parents! But when we had that bad feeling in our gut, we knew that we did something contrary to their rules or teachings! In our Scripture, Joshua gave a final warning to the tribe of Manasseh as they prepared to enter their new home country prepared by God. He told them of blessings for their obedience, otherwise curses for their disobedience. Today, the Holy Spirit is our guide in helping us understand the warning signs in God’s Word – ones that reveal blessings, and/or possible curses.

DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-05-16
WRITTEN AT: Jupiter, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 23:14-16
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 “…… Every one of you knows in his heart and soul that the Lord your God has given you all the good things that he promised. Every promise he made has been kept; not one has failed. 15 But just as he kept every promise that he made to you, so he will carry out every threat. 16 If you do not keep the covenant which the Lord your God commanded you to keep and if you serve and worship other gods, then in his anger he will punish you, and soon none of you will be left in this good land that he has given you.”

APPLICATION: Those who tend to be rebellious really struggle in this life, because there are laws and rules in every aspect of life. Many are challenged by God’s Word because they are opposed to the laws, commands and rules set by God. But aren’t we always ready to celebrate and worship the Lord when we are blessed by the mercies of God and His undeserving, amazing goodness towards us? So if it was left up to us, what would you do for those who go their own stubborn way? Would you give them more rope to hang themselves, or would you strive in your efforts to correct them and try to turn them towards the teachings of the Master? I believe that we all know what should be done, even though in today’s world we tend to think of ‘doing it our way’, as that old song is titled! For a moment, think about the huge investment of time and self sacrifice that Joshua had with the Israelites. Think about His commitment to the Almighty God? I believe that when he spoke to the tribes in our Scripture today, he spoke from the heart of a father. Yes, he had a sincere commitment to God and he wanted to make sure that everything was done according to God’s perfect plan, but because he had invested so much of his life into a much brighter future for His fellow Israelites, everything he did or said came from a heart just like the heart of God. Wouldn’t it be awesome to reflect on a sermon, teaching, or advice from your pastor and just stand in awe at what he shared from God that’s all for your very best interest, even though some of it really ‘stepped on your toes’? My friends, let’s be reminded that when discipline is necessary, or when God has correction in store for us, it will be uncomfortable because it’s aim is to get us on the right track to do the things that are pleasing to God. Only one is perfect, Jesus our Lord. So when the Word of God is preached or taught, it will probably work at the rough edges in our lives – those scars caused by disobedience and/or our kicking against the principles of God. Because Joshua loved his people so much, he didn’t want to see them have to face the correction/discipline of God, so he warned them right at the very beginning of their new life in their new land. Our pastors are much the same way. As messengers of God, and with deep love for their parishioners, they stand in front of us each week and warn us about the consequences of disobedience to the Word and will of God. Some refuse to attend church for this very reason, for they would prefer a ‘pat on the back’ and only hear about the blessings of God. However, I believe that we all must remember one thing about God’s Word, it is designed to steer us in the direction that God has chosen for us. To redirect us at times, God may need to create a bump in our road to steer us to the right, or to the left. Without that, we will continue straight – along the wrong path. So let me encourage you to not just be thankful for the wise words of Joshua, but also for the Word of God as you read it, and for pastor and teachers as they merely help us to understand what God is saying to us. God has promised us a lot – right down to a heavenly home where we will spend eternity. However, He has threatened to discipline us when we allow our stubborn actions to overrule His perfect will for us. I want to enjoy the many promises of God in every aspect of my life! I pray that every reader/listener is very much aligned with my desire – God being our helper!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Every promise God has made, has been kept!

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, for the blessings and the good times we enjoy, we say thank You. For correction and discipline, we also say thank You, because You love us way too much to see us floundering along the wrong path, or doing those things that You disapprove of. Thank You for all You did for the Israelites, and we celebrate with them the rich mercies and gifts that You bestowed on them. Thank You for the challenging times mentioned by Joshua and about the disciplines You may found necessary to impose on our ancestors to get them back on track. We are well aware of our weaknesses and the many temptations that come to distract us from our persistent walk with You. Thank God that out of sincere love, You have decided to even use discipline to keep us straight as we walk towards You in a sinful and destructive world. May we always be gracious in accepting our discipline, and always loving and respectful of the God who loves us. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Author: Ed Algreen

One of God's kids expressing his understanding of God's Word and sharing how it is affecting his life! May those who read it be blessed, encouraged, and drawn closer to the Lord!

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