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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Promise of His Rest
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. (Hebrews 4:1)
Moses my servant is dead!
The death of Moses marked a dramatic change in the experience of the Israelites. Moses was as God to them. The Jews didn't realize this during the wilderness wandering but they had come to rely on Moses to represent God to them.
Even today, over three thousand years later, it is Moshe this, Moshe that.
Joshua had been Moses' personal servant for many years. The mantle of leadership now rested on him and he was quite apprehensive, as we can tell from the several times the Lord told him to be courageous.
We see that the change from Moses to Joshua was a major change for Israel, that there do come times of major change in the eternal plan of salvation. Such change is on us now. Change is always difficult for people and human institutions.
Great changes are taking place in the world and in our own nation. Fantastic changes are taking place in the way we can communicate.
At the same time significant change is taking place in the Kingdom of God.
The Lord Jesus is taking off His Moses hat and putting on His Joshua hat. The good Shepherd is becoming the fierce Warrior. We are moving from the twenty-third Psalm to the twenty- fourth Psalm.
The long journey of the Christian Church in the wilderness is nearing its finish. For the first time since the beginning of the Christian Era, perhaps, the Holy Spirit is emphasizing the goal, the land of promise, the land of milk and honey.
We Christians do not understand the goal of salvation. A mythology has been constructed presenting the goal of salvation as eternal residence in the spirit Paradise. To this have been added mansions, golden slippers, harps, and acres of diamonds. The picture is one of material wealth, which a little reflection reveals to be not a very satisfactory future. We know from our human experience that material wealth does not bring the peace and joy we long for.
The change from eternal residence in Heaven as our goal to the actual goal set forth in the New Testament may take two or three generations to accomplish. The old will die hard, I suppose, but there may be a few Joshuas and Calebs around. The rest will depend on the kids and their children and grandchildren.
I can hear it now, "Brother Thompson, are you trying to take Heaven away from us?" Dear Lord, deliver us!
I notice some of the young men have ears to hear, even some of the young ladies.
Lest we be misunderstood there is a literal Hell, a place called Hell, and there is a literal Heaven where God, Christ, the saints, and the angels are at the present time. I am not that sure about mansions and acres of diamonds. However one would be hard put to prove from the Old Testament or New Testament that our goal is to live forever in Heaven.
In fact, were we forced to stay in Heaven while Christ and His saints are governing the earth we would be quite unhappy to say the least.
To be continued.