Spiritual Director · April 21, 2017

Devote #17

It’s so easy to read the Bible and only pull out of it what we want or what seems pertinent to our life at the moment. But the truth is, there is so much wealth to be extrapolated from the Word of God that we should feel like some of the richest people in the world to get to read it. Let me explain.

Today I was reading Joshua 14. In this chapter an 85 year old man by the name of Caleb, comes to Joshua to retell his story and after all these years, claim what is rightfully his. You see, when Caleb and Joshua were 40 years old, they were sent with 10 other men to spy out this Promised Land.

You’ll remember that Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies who came back with a positive report – all the others said the giants in the land were too big and the city walls were too high and too thick. They gave a negative report and all the people lost heart. That’s why the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years: a lack of faith.

Now as Joshua is distributing the land to the tribes of Israel as God directs him, Caleb claims the promise God gave to him 45 years ago saying…

“… I promise that the places where you went as a spy will belong to you and your descendants forever.” —Joshua 14:9

Talk about holding on to a promise of God!

But what I want to talk with you about is the land that Caleb chose. 3500 years ago, Caleb chose the land of Hebron. Today, Hebron is the center of controversy. Hebron is the oldest Jewish community in the world, founded by Abraham some 4000 years ago (Genesis 13).

Today, there are about 1000 Jews living in Hebron with 150,000 Palestinians (descendents of Esau) surrounding them and many of those Palestinians are self-proclaimed Islamic terrorists.

Hebron is the second most sacred piece of real estate in the world for the Jewish people, Jerusalem being first. Hebron was purchased by Abraham as a burial site (Genesis 23) and paid for in cash.

There is a great Jewish heritage in Hebron from the past, but the present situation is very controversial and will continue to be until Jesus returns to deal with the enemies of the Jewish people.

But why do I tell you all of that? Because it’s good for us to reflect on the past, remembering the promises of God, as we look to the future.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Don’t ever forget God’s promises to you. Keep them. Cherish them, like Caleb. God is not slow in fulfilling the promises He made to you. Doesn’t matter if it was 45 years ago. Maybe He’s just waiting for you to get in the right place.

Thank You for Your promises to us. We’re especially thankful for the promise of a Savior, Your Son, our Lord – Jesus, who freely gave His life in our place. It’s in His name we pray, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.