Thursday, March 25, 2010

Journal, 3/25/10

Reading: Joshua 21-22, Psalm 47, 1 Corinthians 10

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Joshua 22:26-29: “Therefore we said, ‘Let us build an altar, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it shall be a witness between us and you and between our generations after us, that we are to perform the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices and with our peace offerings, so that your sons will not say to our sons in time to come, “You have no portion in the Lord”’ Therefore we said, ‘It shall also come about if they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, then we shall say, “See the copy of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, not for burnt offering or for sacrifice; rather it is a witness between us and you.”’ Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD and turn away from following the LORD this day, by building an altar for burnt offering, for grain offering or for sacrifice, besides the altar of the LORD our God which is before His tabernacle.”

Psalm 47:7-8: For God is the King of all the earth;

Sing praises with a skillful psalm.

God reigns over the nations,

God sits on His holy throne.

This explanation by the Transjordan tribes really strikes me. They feared that, because of their separation from the other tribes, they would lose their roots in the truth. They feared that their children, who had not been through the wandering and the conquest would not know the great things that the LORD had done, and would not continue in devotion to him. So, in order to prevent this drifting away, they made a copy of the altar as a reminder.

I was also struck by Psalm 47:7-8 because it seems to reflect the very thing that the Transjordan tribes wanted to remember. God is the King of all the earth. He reigns over the nations and he sits on his holy throne. The LORD is the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the King of kings. Despite what might take place with the surrounding nations, the Transjordan tribes wanted to remember who the true King of all was.

The Old Testament is filled with powerful reminders of what the LORD had done for the people. The Passover meal, the feasts and festivals, the sacrifices, the laws, the blessings, the standing stones, this altar. Remember was a big deal. This makes even more sense out of the Lord’s Supper, when Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Similarly to the Transjordan tribes, we don’t worship the bread and wine, or the cross in the church, or the pictures that represent biblical themes, but they are powerful symbolic reminders of who is King. How tragic if we were to forget the risen Lord of all the earth, and all that he has done for us.

What am I doing now in order to put reminders into my life? I am taking some steps to do this right now in my office. What about my home? What about my computer? What about my car? It seems powerful to me that it was not enough for the Transjordan tribes that there was an altar in Jerusalem. They wanted a reminder altar in their own space. They could not get away from it. It was there was a reminder whether they went out of their way to see it or not.

Father, what are you guiding me to do in order to remember? Please guide me as I think through my home, my room, my car, my computer, and my kids’ space. How can we prevent ourselves from forgetting who you are and the great things you have done? Please open my eyes to this. You are the great God who sent your Son to be our sacrifice, and who raised him up from the dead in the greatest victory! Prevent me from forgetting this. And prevent me from forgetting the amazing and profound forgiveness that has come to me. And prevent me from forgetting the ways that you have guided me all of my life. The ways you have cared for my family. The way you called me into ministry. The way that you brought Karina into my life. The way that you have purged a great deal of bitterness from my heart. The way that you have provided for us during seminary and during all of our difficult times. Keep my mind and heart from wandering.

I pray for my sons, that you would keep them from drifting from you. Solidify their hearts and keep them committed to you. Open their eyes to see who you are, and to own you as their Lord. Draw them to you, open their hearts to you, give them soft and responsive hearts, and seal them for you. Show them the life that is real life!

I pray for our church, that you would prevent us from drifting from you and forgetting all that you have done for us as individuals and also as a church. Bring us back by way of powerful reminder. Guide Alan, the elders, and all of us as we look to set up the church in such a way that we have these constant reminders before us.


At 4:08 PM, Anonymous jamie said...

Great blog!!
loved reading the word of God!!


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