Song of the day: "Yes I Know". Came to me during the night, I woke up with it in my mind. I am one of those prone to bouts of discouragement. Sometimes, they're earned. Sometimes, they are just part of the nature. Helps to be reminded of the love, power, grace, and mercy of the Lord. Read the lyrics as they are displayed. Any dispute there?
Our reading in the Old Testament is chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Joshua.
Joshua had a tough assignment. He was the successor to Moses. Moses was a giant of a person as we view things, someone whose life affects our world today, even thousands of years later. How do you fill those shoes? Well, being named and affirmed by the Lord is a big help. Joshua had had years of seeing how Moses did things, for good or ill, and at close range too. Helps. Helps a lot. If you have ever had to step in after someone else, and many of us have, it's a challenge. There will always be those eager to second-guess you, to say to each other, "that's not how Old Mose would have done it". So, Joshua walked with God. Good idea anyway.
There is, by the way, a tomb said to be the resting place of Joshua. In the so-called "west bank" region of Israel, a disputed region between Israel and Jordan.
His name is essentially the same name as Jesus, allowing for slight changes in the language, changes in pronunciation, and all the difficulties of transliterating from ancient Hebrew into English. It means "YAHWEH is salvation"!. Certainly true. I know a few people whose name is Joshua, one is a pastor in central Alabama.
And there are some other things going on here, The passage here ends with the crossing of the Jordan, important symbolically even today, and important as the entry, long delayed, into the Promised Land.
But there is also the issue of Rahab. A harlot. Need a definition? She'd probably not be welcome in most polite places, not in most churches either. Unfortunately. How she came to that role, I have no idea. But note: she was ideally placed, and called by the Lord as well, to render aid to those sent to check out the city they were about to attack. Why Jewish spies ended up in the business office of a harlot, I shall not speculate. Perhaps the Lord arranged things so that they would meet. In any event, this was one of those utterly unexpected unpredictable things that the Lord has been doing for a very long time, and still today. Commissioning the unfit and unworthy (that's us, by the way) to do His will, and great things come about as a result.
And there is also the issue of the crossing itself. A crossing when the river was at flood stage. I'd have been thinking about a bridge, or ferry boats (with no materials available for either) or seeking an easier, shallower crossing point at a time when the flow was at a low ebb. The Lord had another plan. And, note too, the river didn't stop until their feet were in it, when they were committed. He still works that way today.
The reading in the New Testament is verses 57-80 in Luke chapter 1.
Elizabeth has a baby in her old age. Remind you, perhaps, of the account of Abraham and Sarah? Another of those "impossible things" that the Lord does all the time, if we will only look.
That "impossible baby" is named John, an earthly cousin of Jesus, and the prophet who will proclaim and meet Him. Creates quite a stir.