Thursday, 29 December 2016

Faith and Unity

Judges 1:1-2
'After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the Lord, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” 2 The Lord said, “Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand.” '

Israel got it right!

They're great, esteemed leader, Joshua,  had died. The one who'd led them into battle to claim the promise land had died. He had clearly led them well because they maintained their faith after his death. Moses and Joshua had worked hard to invest faith into the people, many times the people had gone off and done their own thing because following God is hard, but here, they carried on in faith.

It's at a point where Israel were unsure what to do, so they enquired of God.
Now, that's no mean feat as a whole nation! They got together to ask God, 'what next?'. Then they listened to and obeyed the answer. Not just one or two or ten people, but the whole nation! Can you imagine even 10 people getting together and agreeing something? It'd take a lot of time to get to a decision and there'd probably be someone who wasn't in agreement with it. Israel manage to do this with the whole nation - that can only mean that God was with them, how else could that happen?

Judah was chosen to go up first, and Judah asked Simeon to join them in battle. Brothers working together, supporting in the fight. Not grudgingly, but lovingly did they comply. They fought alongside each other. Worked together in unity. They fought against their common enemy together as a united force following God's plan. They had the same heart, motive and desire - to see the enemy destroyed. What a great example to the rest of the nation! Working together in love defeats the enemy and gains victory!
They worked together purposefully, in obedience to God and won. These two tribes, just a fraction of Israel, brought their enemies down! They gained the land, so then Imagine what the WHOLE tribe of Israel can do if they go out in faith!

Now, imagine what the church can do if they work together! Imagine what YOU can do if you work in faith together with others to make a difference in this world. Joshua and Caleb are renowned in the Old Testament as men of faith. They spied out the land and knew that with God in their side they could be victorious when no-one else did. They had confidence in their God, they knew his righteousness, power and love was with them, just as these two tribes have demonstrated, and they also were victorious. If you have faith in God, and He calls you to do something, trust him. It may seem hard, impossible or strange, but as, 'the Lord was with Judah', he shall also be with you.

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