Daily Archives: March 21, 2023

Joshua 5-8; Mark 5; Psalm 69

When Joshua was near Jericho, he saw a Man with sword drawn, and Joshua went to Him and worshiped the Commander of the Lord’s army. (Joshua 5:13) The Lord was with Joshua in that famous victory, the walls that fell at Jericho. But right after this, the sin of Achan caused Israel’s defeat at Ai. Unaware of the reason for the loss of his men, Joshua cried out to God as though God’s reputation was at stake. The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?” The Lord instructed Joshua to find the “accursed thing” taken and hidden by Achan. Once Israel was purged of this sin, Joshua was again given victory over his enemies.

Then Joshua worshiped, wrote a copy of the law on stones, and read aloud to all the assembly, including the women and children and the strangers living among them, the entire body of the Law given by Moses.

In Mark, we read that a demon-possessed man who would cry out and cut himself saw Jesus from afar. The man “ran and worshiped Him.” (Mark 5:6) Jesus gave the demons permission to enter two thousand swine, and “the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea and drowned in the sea.” What a picture of another deliverance! This same man was next described as “sitting and clothed, and in his right mind.”

The healed man wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus instructed him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”

I, too, have run to God, crying out, “Save me, O God!” I relate with the Psalmist who says, “I am weary with my crying, my throat is dry; my eyes fail while I wait for my God.” (Psalm 69:3) Where is my victory? When I run toward my Lord, Jesus Christ, do I immediately worship Him? Or as in Mark’s account of the mourners of the little girl who was thought to be dead and gone forever, do I fear that all is lost? Sometimes, I hear my own doubts saying, “Why bother the Teacher any further?”

Yet, as soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the little girl’s parents, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” And to the mourners, He said, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” Then Jesus called to the girl, who arose and walked to her parents. (Mark 5:41)

We who love the Lord will experience times when deliverance is necessary. I need to be reminded especially then that our Lord will heal me and deliver me from my fears. For God’s character never changes. His love is loyal, His kindness and tender mercies compassionate.

And like the Psalmist I can say, “Though I am poor and sorrowful; let Your salvation, O God, set me up on high. I will praise the name of God with a song and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Whatever the battle – physical, emotional, internal, external – my God will never fail to hear me, go before me, and rescue me. And thankfully so!

Dear Lord, Your words are a lifeline to me in times of trouble. Your Holy Spirit brings understanding, perseverance, and patience. The victory is Yours and so should be all the glory. “Whom have I in heaven but You? There is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail, But God [You are] the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25, 26)



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