By Rev Angela C Bosfield Palacious
There are many leaders in the Bible who face challenges in the course of their social, political and religious duties. As we take responsibility for the state of our nation today, adults and young people alike have to move to new levels of accountability and integrity. The following passages in the book of Joshua are intended to give us a fresh perspective as we respond to the reflection questions:
Joshua 1:5-6 (NRSV): “No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. The presence of the Lord gives Joshua the confidence to face all obstacles. Has this been your experience? When do you need to remember that God is with you?”
Joshua 4:6b-7: “When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever.”
Like the Red Sea Crossing, the Ark of the Covenant is carried on dry land through the River Jordan. What miracles have you witnessed? What memorials have we put in place to remember what God has done?
Joshua 5:12: “The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year. After the people are able to provide for themselves, no more manna is provided. What is God expecting us to provide for ourselves?”
Joshua 23:14: “And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things that the Lord your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed. God is indeed faithful to them. If you were to be preparing to die what wise counsel would you want to share with those around you?”
Joshua 24:14-15: “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
They are admonished to fear God and serve faithfully. As an individual, what gods do you need to throw away? As a nation what idols are we worshipping?
• Rev Angela Palacious, a motivational speaker and author of several devotional books, is an Anglican priest. She may be contacted at 393-9000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.