Saturday 03 October 2009

Bible Book:

"Take good care to observe the commandment and instruction that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, and to hold fast to him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul." (v.5)

Joshua 22:1-6 Saturday 3 October 2009


It's not often that the children of Israel get a 'well done', sonaturally we notice it here and wonder at it!

After everything they have been through, their leader Joshua tellsthem they have actually kept the faith. I'm not sure we would wantto say the same thing. But throughout the earlier books of the OldTestament we read that they seem to have got it wrong, mostly withtheir grumbling, arguing, doubting and the rest. The 'well done'however is not despite their failings, it is because of them. Theyhave not given up, they have kept on, they haven't despaired, andthey have finally arrived. They have taken Canaan - the PromisedLand. Doubt is not contrary to faithfulness, it is the context inwhich faithfulness is demanded and exercised. Doubt is to faith asfear is to courage. Without the one you would not have the other!So 'well done' indeed!

The well done is not about an individual either. It isn't for thereally good Israelites who got on well, who seemed to shine in thedifficult times, for whom faith was easy and courage camenaturally. The well done is offered to the whole community. Theyall got there together because that is how communities work.Together they are sent to get on with it and together they areencouraged to keep on keeping on.

And the well done doesn't mean 'and now you can give up'. The taskto "Love the Lord your God" is the task that has shaped them to bethe people they are and it will shape them to be the people theywill become. It is not an end of term well done and now theholidays stretch ahead with exams over! It is the well done to apeople with much ahead and much to learn and much to discover.

To Ponder

Where is God saying "well done" to you and yourcommunity of faith? And how do you accept it?

Where are you struggling at the moment with fearor doubt?

How might you express your love for Godtoday?

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