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April 23, Day #114 – We Need Biblical Discernment

Today in our readings we come to Joshua 1-2. In chapter 1, we see now that Moses has died, and “the LORD said to Joshua … you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites” (verses 1-2). God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land …” (verse 6). This is Joshua’s commission directly from the voice of God. In verses 10-18, we see that Joshua takes charge of the people. He ordered the people to “get their supplies ready” (verse 11), and he reminded the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh of their commitment to “cross over ahead of their brothers and to help them until the LORD gives them rest” (verses 14, ff.). They agreed to fulfill their commitment. In chapter 2, Joshua sent out two spies to look over the land – especially Jericho” and they “went, entering the house of Rahab (verse 1). Agreeing to help them, Rahab risked her life for the spies and the Israelites because a “great fear of them had fallen on her people, and she knew that the LORD had given the land to them” (verses 8-9). The book of Hebrews tells us that Rahab, though a prostitute, was a woman of faith; she not only trusted the Lord, but also she was blessed by God, and she is listed in the genealogy of Christ (cf., Hebrews 11:31; Matthew1:5). In addition, James tells us that Rahab demonstrated her faith by her good works – because she was a woman of faith – she performed righteous acts. This truth is a testimony of the power of the gospel over sin. Rahab’s agreement with the two spies is intriguing; we see later that “because” she fulfilled her part of the agreement, she and her whole family were spared (cf., Joshua 6:25).

Proverbs 10:11-20 continues with additional proverbs from Solomon. These proverbs contain great wisdom for us. Every day, I ask God to grant all my loved ones the gifts of discernment and discretion. In Proverbs 10:13, we see that “wisdom is found on the lips” of those who possess discernment. The clear ability to separate right from wrong and to make sound decisions is part of a biblical hierarchy that develops out of the following path of descending gifts from God … [1] at the top of the list is divine Truth, which is absolutely inviolable; [2] godly Wisdom; [3] biblical Understanding; [4] spiritual Insight; [5] universal Knowledge; [6] ordinary Common Sense; and [7] practical Discernment or Discretion. All of these are necessary to make effective decisions about life. To ignore or overlook any of these steps along the path is sheer foolishness which negates our purposes to discriminate for good and evil. Such ignorance completely short-circuits our ability to discern anything at all. This is precisely why so many people confuse right and wrong - calling “evil good and good evil” (cf., Isaiah 5:20). Unless we begin with the recognition and existence of absolute Truth and its Source, our entire worldview implodes into a meaningless, inside-out, upside-down world gone haywire. This explains our current, post-modern culture, and it emphasizes the need for wise decision-making based on sanctified discernment.

In Luke 21:5-38, some of Christ’s disciples, who admired the temple and its adornments, came to Him, and they asked Him for signs of the end of the age. Jesus’ answer begins with, “Watch out that you are not deceived …” (verse 8). Today, our culture seems to be deceived more than any previous culture ever, and we see people all around us who are scammed into believing anything and everything. This is one of the great dangers of distancing ourselves from the Word of God and the Person and Work of Christ. The less we know about Christ and the truth of Scripture, the more we open ourselves up to deception - a belief in anything. My Dad used to tell me, “Son, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” I would revise that statement to the following: “If you don’t stand for the Truth, you will fall for the lie.” Jesus promises, “For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict” (verse 15). Such words and wisdom are only available in the Word of God. Jesus began His answer with, “Watch out …” (verse 8), and He ends it with “Be careful …” (verse 34). We need discernment!

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