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April 27, Day #118 – God’s Complete Control over Creation

Today we come to Joshua 9:16-10:43. In chapter 9 verse 16, we see that “Three days after the Israelites made their treaty with the Gibeonites, they heard that they were neighbors.” A little late to discover this, but “the Israelites had sworn an oath to them by the LORD” … and “the whole assembly grumbled against the leaders” (verse 18). Here we see that the leaders had given their word, and they “could not touch them now” (verse 19). This section identifies several important truths: [1] Even godly leaders make errors in judgment – in this case – impulsive acceptance of the Gibeonites without investigation or prior consultation with God. Leaders are not immune to temptation or to the deceptions of Satan and the world. On the contrary, leaders – because they are leaders – are especially prone to Satan’s subterfuges, and they need to anticipate and take special precautions against the deceiver’s tricks. [2] God supports our word given to others – here, the Israelites gave their word – and God required them to keep it (cf., Prov 10:19; Ecclesiastes 5:5). However, as we mentioned yesterday – there are consequences. The Gibeonites – enemies of Israel – are now dwelling among them, and they represent the evil forces that are all around us in the believer’s life. For this reason, we must be on our guard not only to open attack, but also to sneaky deceptions. Moreover, in Joshua 10, we see that the Israelites have to expend energy and resources rescuing the Gibeonites from the Amorites (verse 6). Here, also, we see “Joshua calling upon the LORD to make the sun and the moon stand still” (verses 12-13). God miraculously allowed this event so that Joshua could complete his victories against these wicked Amorite kings. We recognize that God has complete control over His creation - in the Old Testament and the New Testament. He can hide the sun and He can make it stand still. If He does these things for those He loves, we should not be afraid to put all our trust in Him! He is worthy of our absolute devotion.

In Proverbs 10:21-30, the writer contrasts the wise and the foolish and the righteous and the wicked. These verses are practical, instructive, and applicable to us as Christians. “A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom” (verse 23), and “The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short” (verse 27). Here, we observe a close relationship - wisdom and righteousness go hand in hand, and wickedness and foolishness are also produced by each other. We see how this works out in Luke 23.

In Luke 23:26-56, we notice how the ways of these two different groups (i.e., the wise and the foolish and the righteous and the wicked) contrast with each other. This is especially emphasized by the two criminals crucified with Jesus. Both were guilty, but the one who recognized his true predicament wisely repents. The other one, however, scoffs and mocks Jesus. Think about how diverse their resulting, eternal destinies were in the end! In verse 44, we see that “about the sixth hour, darkness came over the whole land” (verse 44). When God turns His face away, there is no light. Then, at Jesus’s death, the temple curtain “was torn in two” (verse 45), opening the way for us to come into God’s presence. The torn curtain is a vivid symbol of judgment against the hypocrisy of the priests and others who denied Jesus’s rightful place as High Priest and Messiah.

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