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In Case You Missed It -- Joshua 24, Psalm 133

Even though we are just finishing the sixth book of the Bible, we have already read a few brief summaries of Israel’s history like the one found in Joshua 24. This consistent recounting of Israel’s history is important for community formation and also staying true to God. Israel’s history has been a few hundred years long, so it is impressive to find a few words that summarize Israel’s situation so well as Joshua 24:13. God says, “ 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.” Israel’s main role in their story is as recipients of God’s lavish grace. God reminds Israel of this not to belittle them or coerce future obedience. Rather, God wants Israel to recall their history and remember that no explanation outside of unique favor from an all-powerful God can explain their current situation. YHWH desires that this recollection would lead to ongoing faith that such kindness to them will continue. Every child of God who has ever lived has been in this same situation. All good things we have we owe to God, and thanksgiving for God’s goodness is meant to bolster future trust. May we have eyes to see the symbolical lands, cities, and food that we enjoy without having earned them. We pray for God to increase our faith in His future goodness today.

Jeremiah Vaught