Events & News Archive
From the Synod Moderator:
We enter the New Year with almost more of the same from 2020 – uncertainty about containing the Covid-19. Things may look pretty upbeat in Singapore, with low local transmission. But as we have seen in other countries, even our closest neighbors, the situation may easily flare up again, gets out of control. Of course there's also the growing concerns about the vaccine and its side effects.
How then, can we enter into the New Year with confidence and restfulness?
Joshua stood at threshold of a new era with a new generation, ready to possess the Promised land. But are they really ready? From God’s point of view, there were still outstanding issues that need to be dealt with. What can we learn from them? God.
Rooted in God's Faithfulness
First, God commanded the circumcision of the new generation. The old generation who refused to believe God's promises perished in the wilderness. Now God was reminding Israel of the certainty of His promises made to Abraham and his descendants. The unbelief and disobedience of His people can never negate or annul God's promises. They may forfeit the benefits and enjoyment of His promises but never cancel His faithful promises. Here was a crucial test for Joshua – will he and Israel trust God's faithfulness to circumcise all the fighting men of Israel and do it in a dangerous place. The whole army will be incapacitated right in enemies' territory. It will take 10-14 days for them to heal. They will be totally exposed and vulnerable to the attacks of the Canaanites. Will they succumb to unbelief like the previous generation or will they stay rooted in God's faithfulness to protect them? It will be dangerous if we count on our own faithfulness to do well. 2021 presents many challenges to us and it always boil down to the question of trust or distrust in God. We may be uncertain about how 2021 may unfold, but we can always be certain of God's faithfulness.
Remain in Reverent Submission
The encounter Joshua has with the Commander of the LORD’s army, was designed to help him relinquish control of whatever plans his has to take Jericho. The Commander’s answer that He is not for Joshua nor for his enemies has a simple message. The LORD is not here to serve anyone’s agenda and plans. He comes to take over and direct the whole operation. Knowingly or unknowingly, we tend to make graven and distorted images of a God who is here to serve my needs, plans and goals. We live with this sense of entitlement and that god owe us a good life. The Lord has to take us through some painful ordeal to break these graven images.
The word picture behind “fell on his face”, is one of “remaining, dwelling, to be in the place and posture for an extended period of time”. We do not know how long, Joshua stayed in that position, but one thing is clear, it was not a quick bowing down but a prolonged prostration. It also has the idea of lowering and getting down from a position of control, and to feel ruined. In a sense Joshua was devastated through this encounter. He was made to see how inadequate his own plans are. Later he was given the promise that God will do the fighting and hand over Jericho to him as a gift.
As we maintain this posture of reverent submission to the Sovereign LORD, and stay grounded in His Faithfulness, we can live 2021 with restfulness and calmness, no matter what the circumstances may be.
Have a RESTFUL 2021!
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