God’s Promises to Man and the World

It was after Saul’s first act of disobedience that Samuel was sent to sacrifice at Bethlehem and to anoint Jesse's son David as king over Israel. David was of the tribe of Judah, Leah’s fourth son and the royal heir apparent designated by his ancestor Jacob (Gen. 49:8-12). During the anointing, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Saul, meanwhile, lost the Spirit of the Lord and became possessed with an evil spirit. To relieve the king of his mental anguish, a harp player was sought and David met the qualification. The king liked the young man, made him his armor bearer and felt relieved whenever he played the harp (I.Sam.16).

God’s Promises to Man and the World

Samuel's god-fearing ministry came to an end when his sons perverted the religious office into personal gain. Israel began to cry out for a king. The elders said to Samuel, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” The idea was not new. Under the Judges, whenever there was a problem, it was because Israel had no king (Jug. 18:1; 19:1). The last statement in the Book of Judges was: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit” (Jud. 21:25). It should also have said, “Israel demanded a king and God does not go against the will of man.” Man is a free agent and God gives him the right to choose good or evil (Gen. 3:22). It is the universal law of cause and effect. His deeds decide his destiny.

God’s Promises to Man and the World

Joshua's prediction that it would be hard to serve the Lord dawned quickly. For eighty years, Israel had leaned on two domineering central figures namely Moses and Joshua. Without constant reminders by a strong leader, God became more remote and easily disobeyed. The historian wrote: "The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel" (Jud. 2:7).

God’s Promises to Man and the World

The editor of the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua was enamored with Moses, Israel’s greatest leader and servant of Yahweh; nevertheless, he could not help himself but carve a notch into Israel’s history for Joshua the impeccable servant of God and of Moses. “On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: ‘O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon. So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a man. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel” (Jos. 10:12-14). Without a Creator God, the incredible is debatable. The editor knew it and so should we who believe in a God where nothing is too hard for him (Gen. 18:14).

At Sevent-Five

It is a happy day, so they say when you reach seventy-five one day. The things I hoped that I could see did not exactly pen out for me. I did not strike gold, but metal wheels that keep me in the game of life. I push it from my computer room and to my kitchen and back. I have it carry for me things I need in my yard and on our deck. Outdoors, my husband and I admire our beautiful surrounding on wheels. Now, when I travel somewhere, wheels are waiting on standby to move me on to my destination. We have motorized wheels to get us places outside our home. Lately, my husband began to use the garden tractor to master the decline and rise in the driveway. He complains that his feet can’t carry his body when he picks up the mail. I know exactly how he feels for I too depend more on my wheels than on my feet. For us, the invention of the wheel has become the most beneficial and practical blessing in the world. I am learning new ways to handle my wheels.

God’s Promises to Man and the World

Jesus gave this answer to his opposition: “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say” (Jn. 5:45-47). The answer is not just what Moses said but what the people asked for. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet (spokesman) like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.” The Lord said to me, “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I commanded him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account” (Deut. 18:15-19). How did Israel do and how did Moses’ prediction turn out?