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Feb
22

I Can Only Speak for Me:: 4

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“‘I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land. When Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you. But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand.

“‘Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’ (Joshua 24:8-14, NLT)

This is my favorite part of Joshua’s final speech. Think about it for a moment. Israel had come to the end of the conquest. As each tribe prepared to make their way to their individual inheritance, Joshua reminded them where their blessings came from. God had provided the conquest. Not only that, he had provided them with cities they didn’t build and gardens they didn’t plant. Everything they had received had come from the hand of God. They couldn’t take credit for a single thing.

God’s blessing upon his people was obvious. The lingering question that remains then is “why?” Did God bless them because they deserved it? Or because they were so righteous? Was it because they had earned it? The answer to each question is a resounding “no.” God blessed his people so they would become a blessing to the world.

Like Israel, we have been blessed to be a blessing to the world. I have a friend who likes to say “keep track of the blessings God has given you so you know what God expects of you.” Well said. May we strive to take the blessing and bless those around us.

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