Today you should read: Joshua 9
When God’s favor is on you, EVERYTHING changes.
In Joshua 9, the Israelites had the momentum they’d always dreamed of. Really, the only thing ever standing in their way was their own sinfulness and rebellion. Now that they had dealt with their sin (Achan in Joshua 7), renewed their covenant with God and celebrated victory at Ai (Joshua 8), everyone took notice. It was unmistakeable — there was something special about these people — God’s favor.
In the first few verses, we see that the kings in surrounding countries wanted to do something about it. They wanted to return Israel to its humble state, defeated and in captivity. They banded together with the desire to put an end to Israel’s victories.
The Gibeonites, however, wanted to milk the successes of Israel. You know the age-old phrase, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” The concocted a plan to trick the Israelites into being gracious with them. To be honest, it was a fantastic plan. Moldy bread, old wineskins, worn clothes to prove they came from afar? Ingenious. Israel fell for it. Though Joshua was mad, he couldn’t argue with their reasoning: “God’s favor is on you. We want His favor too.”
The application today is simple.
God’s favor IS on you. If you are a Christ-follower, the Holy Spirit lives in you. God could not get any closer to you than He already is — HE IS IN YOU!
But are you walking so closely with Him that it’s unmistakable to others that His favor rests upon you? One factor may be the spiritual opposition you face. Another may be that other Christians are drawn to you and desire to emulate you. Because you follow Christ, they desire to follow you (Paul & Timothy).
I pray that we would be the kind of church that the world would notice, not for our creativity or programs, but because we are distinctly marked with the favor of God.
Posted by: Todd Thomas