Joshua 7-9

Joshua 7-9…The sin of Achan, and Joshua renews the covenant.

Achan took some of the spoil of Jericho. In doing so, he clearly showed his love for the world was greater than his love for God. We grow bitter when we worship worldly gain, because it will never satisfy us. As Christians, we should know this because the Bible is clear that we were made to worship God, not idols. However, we are quick to become like the world, especially if we don’t have other believers around us, speaking truth into our lives. Discontent hearts don’t produce fruit, and are evidenced by isolation and bitterness. Sin is deceptive, and idol worship will own you unless you are transparent about your life with other believers in your church. Ever wonder why you don’t produce the kind of spiritual fruit that other Christians do? Maybe worship of the world is keeping you from loving God and others.

Joshua renews the covenant of the Lord with His people. As soon as he got to the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim, without delay, and without caring for the unsettled state of Israel, he confirmed the covenant of the Lord. We also should not wait to covenant with God. We don’t need to clean ourselves up before running to Him. In fact, our recognition that we aren’t OK, is what should drive us to Him. We need Him daily, and must see our utter dependence on Christ. It’s OK to know that you’re not OK, as long as you don’t stay there. This is what Christian maturity looks like.

Deuteronomy 29-31

Deuteronomy 29-31…Covenant renewal.

Centuries of misunderstanding of the place of God’s law in history and in the life of the believer have caused a lot of confusion over the way the Law relates to us today. As we trace the biblical understanding of the Mosaic law through the canon of Scripture, we should develop a true appreciation for this part of the Bible.

Getting a better grasp on the purpose and use of the Law requires us to remember the context in which it was given and read in the old covenant period. These three chapters of Deuteronomy outline the renewal of the covenant. This describes the reading of the Law that was to take place every seven years when all the Israelites assembled to celebrate the Feast of Booths (“tents,” Deut. 31:9–13). This was not the only time the people heard or were taught the Law, for it was to be a part of their everyday life. Still, the seventh-year reading of the Law to the whole nation was unique in that the people collectively professed their allegiance to the Lord and their countrymen under His statutes, being reminded of their need to live in submission to their awe-inspiring God.

Notice that the covenant renewal involved the whole community of believers. This is because God has called us to live in a community of believers committed to each other. The covenant was not just vertical, but horizontal as well. It is impossible to obey scripture outside of the context of a local church. The “one another” commands are designed for us to live out the Christian life in submission to elders (Hebrews 13:17), with a group of believers (Acts 2:42-47), who meet together regularly (Hebrews 10:25), hear the gospel preached (Romans 10:14), and display God’s glory to the world (Ephesians 3:8-11). When the local church functions this way, as one body, united in holiness and love, the world sees how powerful the gospel really is. When the church looks like the world, God is not glorified, and His name is misrepresented.