Monday, April 10, 2017

April 10

Deuteronomy 34:1-Joshua 2:24; Luke 13:22-14:6; Psalm 79:1-13; Proverbs 12:26

God is so good!

Do you see the mercy he extends here to Moses?  Though Moses has been reminded that he "will see the land only from a distance" (Dt. 32:52), as he waits for his death, the entire land is shown to him.  This is likely a vision - this intimate, far-reaching, beautiful glimpse into the Promised Land, moving counterclockwise from the north.  God owed Moses nothing, but gave him this comfort before death.  Additionally, Moses is affirmed as the "servant of the Lord" (Dt. 34:5), and his grave is a place known only to God.  Intimacy, indeed.

Then, though Moses in death doesn't know it, God proves his mercy to Moses once again, this time through an affirmation of Joshua as leader.  It's encouragement to Joshua, certainly, but we see God keeping his promises to Moses as well.  And what sweet reassurance for Joshua (Josh. 1:5)!  What more could he want from God than to have God's presence in the same measure as Moses did?  Joshua, as Moses' aide, has spent the last forty years seeing firsthand the relationship between God and his servant - he knows what a gift this promise from God is.

The people, too, assure Joshua of his leadership: "Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you" (Josh. 1:17).  (Then again, considering the waywardness of this group of wanderers, Joshua may not have been comforted by their words!)

God's plan continues, even though his servant Moses has died.  Mercy and faithfulness and goodness.

Jesus, too, extends mercy upon mercy.  Though he knows of the trap laid for him by the Pharisees (see Lk. 14:1-4), Jesus heals the man suffering from dropsy, a painful swelling we'd now see diagnosed as edema.  Giving freedom and wholeness to a broken man is of far greater value to Jesus than following the Sabbath 'rules.'  God's goodness, Jesus affirms, isn't limited to particular days (Lk. 14:5) or particular people.

I'm so glad.  Aren't you?

- Sarah Marsh

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