Devotional by Brian Chilton
11 “‘You then crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. Jericho’s citizens—as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hethites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites—fought against you, but I handed them over to you. 12 I sent hornets ahead of you, and they drove out the two Amorite kings before you. It was not by your sword or bow. 13 I gave you a land you did not labor for, and cities you did not build, though you live in them; you are eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.’
14 “Therefore, fear the Lord and worship him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship the Lord. 15 But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship—the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord” (Josh. 24:11-15).
2 Lord, I have heard the report about you;
Lord, I stand in awe of your deeds.
Revive your work in these years;
make it known in these years.
In your wrath remember mercy!
3 God comes from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His splendor covers the heavens,
and the earth is full of his praise.
4 His brilliance is like light;
rays are flashing from his hand.
This is where his power is hidden.
5 Plague goes before him,
and pestilence follows in his steps.
6 He stands and shakes the earth;
he looks and startles the nations.
The age-old mountains break apart;
the ancient hills sink down.
His pathways are ancient …
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there is no fruit on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though the flocks disappear from the pen
and there are no herds in the stalls,
18 yet I will celebrate in the Lord;
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!
19 The Lord my Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like those of a deer
and enables me to walk on mountain heights! (Hab. 3:2-6, 17-19).
Before Joshua died at the age of 110, he recounted the ways the Lord had brought victory to his people and had orchestrated everything together to bring the people to the promised land. In his final address, he challenged the people to rid themselves of useless idol worship and to decide to worship God, the Creator of the Universe (Josh. 24:11-15)! The prophet Habakkuk realized that his nation was going to experience hard times ahead due to the prophetic word given to him by God. However, he said that even if the crops should fail and the cattle should perish, he would still “celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:18).
2020 has been a wild and crazy year. Let’s recap. We have experienced a pandemic, murder hornets, hurricanes that hit the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico, unbelievable lightning storms, Australian wild brushfires on January 2, a Presidential impeachment trial and acquittal, schools to be forced completely online, the closure of professional sports leagues and movie theaters, businesses forced to close, and now we experienced the largest earthquake to hit the eastern seaboard in 100 years, not to mention the tremors that are occurring in various parts of the North American continent. Please, no one ask, “What’s next?” On the one hand, I think the Lord is trying to get everyone’s attention. On the other hand, I stand with Joshua and Habakkuk. Though the world should crumble and pass away, and though none go with me; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Can you say the same?