Tag Archives: Joshua

Bible Bite ~ Exodus 17:14

A Bible Bite is a short thought or question that runs through my mind after reading a verse of Scripture. I seem to always want to discuss them with you.

Bible BitesI was just finishing up a bible study on Joshua with my small group and came across a troubling situation.

But let me back up a minute.

Remember that Moses wasn’t allowed to enter into the Promised Land? Israel was in the desert and God told him to hit the rock with his staff to bring forth water, Moses couldn’t seem to do exactly what God had told him to do. The Israelites still got their water but God was angry that Moses hadn’t trusted Him to do exactly what He said.

Then we live through the heartbreak of Moses discovering that he can’t enter the Promised Land and we know that he learned his lesson. Do what God tells you.

But here we are. Joshua is charged with leading the charge against the Amalekites. Aaron, Moses, and Hur head to a hilltop to watch the battle and Moses holds his arms up with the staff in hand. The staff he hit the Red Sea with to part the waters. The staff He hit the rock with at Meribah to obtain water.

As long as his arms are up, Joshua is winning the battle. But as Moses tires and his arms slip down, the battle heads in the Amalakites direction. Aaron and Hur sit Moses down on a rock and each takes one of Moses’ arms and lifts it, keeping the Israelites winning and eventually obtaining victory over the Amalekites.

So, you say, where’s your problem?

After the Israelites rout the Amalekites, God tells Moses to write down what occurred and to read it to Joshua so that he’ll always remember.

God said, “I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek under heaven.” (Ex 17:14b)

Moses makes an altar, named it The Lord is My Banner, and said, “The Lord will be at war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Ex 17:15 & 17b)

I said, “Wha???” Back up the truck. Don’t even tell me – Moses has done it again. God said one thing and Moses said another.

I’ve done a study on Moses with BSF (reading Genesis through Deuteronomy) a couple of years ago and this exchange didn’t stand out to me the way it has now. Why didn’t Moses repeat exactly what God said to him? Isn’t there a difference between being ‘completely blotted out’ and ‘at war for generations’?

But you know what really bothers me the most?

Could I be as susceptible as Moses? To hear one thing from God and repeat it completely differently? To not understand what God is telling me? To not have faith that God will do what He says He will do?

Decidedly, yes.

Have I done this in my life?

Has there been Promised Land that I’ve not been able to enter?


My Ebenezer


Ebenezer Branded

Since we were talking about Ebenezers last week, I wanted to show you the one I’ve been building since I got to Florida.

You know that God gave me the plan for my immediate future in 2010, while I was in Arizona.  During the third year that I was in Florida I received Joshua 1:5.

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.

I needed that verse in the early years of my life in Florida because I often believed that I was in some kind of wasteland.  Even though His plan for me was falling into place exactly as He’d promised.  I hadn’t been able to find a job since I’d lost mine in 2008 (and it was now 2013), I was still living in my parent’s house, and I still had doubts that I should be in Florida at all.  I mean … maybe what I thought was “God’s Plan” was just something my brain cooked up and not from Him at all.

Getting this scripture brought me to my knees.  It is, essentially, three promises in one glorious verse.  This ‘gift’ from God came at a time when the devil had been bullying me with severe oppression over my inability to find a job. Furthermore, I wasn’t really hearing from God the way I had in Arizona and thought He had deserted me.  The Holy Spirit put me quickly and firmly on the right track with this verse.

All three promises were important.  The first No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live.” gave me greater strength to thwart Satan’s lies.  The third, I will not leave you or forsake you.” reminded me that I wasn’t in a desert and far away from God.  But the second part … oh the second part!  I will be with you, just as I was with Moses.”  Man, that’s amazing.  Do you remember how God was with Moses throughout the early books of the Bible?  I can just imagine Joshua hearing this.  Since he, too, was with Moses and knew how God interacted with him, did he fall over in awe?  I certainly did.  God hasn’t disappointed.  He has made good on these promises and I knew I needed a stone to remember that He had helped me thus far.

The top stone is the verse God gave me after I’d been diagnosed with cancer and was crying one night to Him about everything in the Plan I’d hadn’t done.  It was the last part in the plan and I’d dragged my feet and hemmed and hawed and had started – but had not finished the last phase.

My remorseful plea that lonely night was, “Am I going to die without finishing what you said I would do?” Tears flooding my pillow.  That was followed by “I’m sorry, Lord.” And then came a fresh round of tears.  I was sorry I hadn’t acted faster and now I might not have time to do what He called me to do.

It was the next morning that the Holy Spirit impressed Numbers 23:19 onto my heart:

God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and then not act, or promise and not fulfill?

Upon reading this verse I dissolved into a mass of tears again.  But this time they weren’t tears of sorrow.  Joy flooded my heart to almost bursting.  What relief!

This scripture told me I wasn’t going to die – at least not before I finished His plan for me.  It also promised that I would finish it, because God doesn’t lie, change His mind, or not honor His promises.  At that moment, those were the sweetest words my wretched heart needed to hear.

Certainly a scripture worthy of an Ebenezer.  So I found another stone and wrote the verse address on it.  I never want to forget that here, again, was a time when God has helped me thus far.

So, did you think about using some sort of Ebenezer to remember how He has helped you too?  I’m dying to know what you’re using.  Let me know in the comments!

Wait Upon the Lord


Do you ever feel like you’re in a season of hurry up and wait?  We came off New Year’s Day all full of piss and vinegar and then … wait.  It must feel as Joshua felt when he’d spent 40 years in the wilderness with Moses – got thrust into a position of leadership when Moses died, the Lord told him about how he was to defeat Jericho, led him to the banks of the Jordan with two million of his nearest and dearest, and then said … wait.  Can you just imagine Joshua’s spirit?

Did he so trust the Lord that he said immediately, “Yes, Lord,” and hunkered down and waited?  Did he kick the sand and say, “Awww gee whiz Lord,” whining like a petulant child?  Did he ever think his advance team met with foul play as he waited on the other side of the river for their return?  Or was he so focused on God that he just kept preparing … kept readying … kept waiting … knowing that when the time was right God would order him to move and he’d move?

We know the story.  We know, in hindsight, that God had to bring Rahab out of Jericho and to Himself to continue to construct Jesus’ family lineage.  Certainly there is comfort in knowing that sometimes God has us wait because He’s working His plans with someone else.  But does that really make it any easier?  Don’t we all wish we had the faith of Joshua?

A couple years ago God gave me the following verse to hang onto:

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.  As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  ~ Joshua 1:5 (NIV)

What a powerful verse … three promises in one.  I can absolutely understand why God spoke these words to Joshua that day; and while I’m not going to physically lead anyone into the Promised Land or walk around a city and tear down its walls … ummmm … wait a minute.  I kinda am.

It turns out that by speaking this verse of Scripture to me, God insured that I had all I needed to keep waiting, keep my eyes focused on Him, and keep preparing.  Preparing for what?  To lead people to the Promised Land of HIM.  To tear down the walls we construct within our hearts and let His love flow through, let His light of glory shine.

Do you think I’m self-aggrandizing?  Making myself to be more important than I am?  In God’s eyes we all are.  God knows who we are, it is we who often don’t see our calling.  We are all called by Him to do His work on earth.  We were born for such a time as this.  We are all Joshua.

At times we must wait, at times we must move forward, at times we must fight, and at times we must claim for God for is already His.  His children.  But all along we must keep our eyes steadfastly on Him who is our Savior.

I love the song “Everlasting God” by Chris Tomlin and this important lyric within:

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord,

as we wait upon the Lord,

as we wait upon the Lord.

We must learn to see our time of waiting as not a punishment, or that God perhaps has somehow forgotten us, we must use our time of waiting as a time to prepare for what is to come.  To gather our strength.  Because one day God is going to tell us to move and we need to be ready to do just that.

Use your wait time wisely, my friends, so that you are ready.

In His love,


PS:  The winner of the desk calendar is … Benjamin Nelson!  Congratulations!

PPS:  If you never have, take a gander at his blog Another Red Letter Day