Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Opus 2024-054: Potential Promise or Empty Hope

Consider this promise that many have drawn encouragement from,

(Jos 1:8-9 KJV)  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
This documents Joshua speaking to the nation shortly after the death of Moses and before they enter the promised land.  It involves Joshua asserting his position, reminding them about the promises of God in the past and preparing them for the move that was ahead.  Some would say it does not apply to us because it is OT.  Can we consider it a promise?  Is it just a principle for us today?  Is it something that does not effect us in any way?

These are normal questions when studying the Bible and seeking understanding.  I think it is important to start with the historical context.  That helps us not only understand what is being said but what it means.  The boldness and confidence that is being promised seems to specifically refer to Israel as they move out in obedience to the command of God.  It is not a promise of success if they turn around and work hard to establish a pottery factory in Egypt.  It applies to moving forward and across the Jordan.  There is an obvious application at that place.

Does the principle have application to us today?  I would say “Yes”, but would require a few conditions that bring it into the historical context.  We can consider these words as promises if we are venturing forth on a path God has sent us on.  Each individual would have to work that out for themselves but I think it is a safe statement.  It would be shaky if you tried to say that being bold and courageous would help us be successful in ungodly pursuits.

In interpreting the OT, can statements be precise promises to the receiver and at the same time be general principles for us today?  I would think so.  If we don’t understand the Bible that way then there is very little for us other than historical interest.  The general principles would be to study the written word, contemplate what it says and means, apply it, and live in confidence that God will see you through.  I hope your understanding goes that far.

It is also a point to observe what these verses do not say.  There is no promise of salvation here.  This is for the practical issues of how to live in righteousness.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.