Elevation

life-863462_640Joshua 4:14: On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life. (ESV)

Joshua did not attempt to elevate himself in the sight of the others. He waited for God to elevate him. But did he really have a choice but to humble himself for God to elevate him in view of the fact that Moses the one from whom he took over as the leader of Israel had such gigantic reputation and it was not easy to follow in his act.

In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, it was plain for all to see that it was not easy for Joshua to take over from Moses after his death. Not only did God say he needed to be courageous but the men of Israel repeatedly told him that he should be bold to take the necessary steps, that they were with him, and that they will deal seriously with anyone who acts otherwise.

Joshua did not try to make himself seem important in the eyes of the people, and that gives God the “space” to elevate him in the eyes of the people. The bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). The devil is an example in this. He sought to elevate himself above God and the result was a crunching total demotion (Isaiah 14:12-16).

The same can be said for Adam and Eve. They were tempted to disobey God with the lure that eating the forbidden fruit will lead to an elevation of their wisdom. It was not to be. What they thought will to lead them to wisdom in the pursuant of their self-will, lead to their destruction (Genesis 3).

Real elevation by God may not be so interpreted by men. Men judge according to appearance, but God judges the heart (1Samuel 16:7).

It was the acts of God through the life of Joshua and Moses that lead to their elevation in the eyes of the people. And in the case of Moses he was so great that God needed to hide the place of his death and bury him himself. He died, but his burial place was not known, he was one of a kind (Deuteronomy 34:1-6).

When God was talking about him, he said that to other prophets he manifests in dreams, but with Moses he speaks face to face with God as friends (Numbers 12:5-10). Moses was the one who “singlehandedly” brought the children of Israel from Egypt.

So you can imagine how Joshua would feel trying to fill the shoes of such a great man. But he was different from Moses, having a different role from his. Moses did not lead the people into the Promised Land because of his temperament through he brought them from Egypt, but Joshua was meant to accomplish that. And while Moses parted the Red Sea and had the army of Egypt drown in the same, in the elevation of Joshua before the children of Israel, God caused him to do something for the River Jordan to be parted and the children of Israel to pass through it.

Man was created and put on an elevated stage, but he was brought down by sin in a thunderous crash. But he was not allowed to stay there as Jesus came to bear the punishment of sin and free men to go back to their place of elevation.

God, when he was about to make man, said: let us make man in our own image and let him have dominion on the birds of the air, the beasts on the ground and the fishes in the sea (Genesis 1:26-28). He was supposed to be the law on the earth.

He had a purposeful relationship with God and another human, he had the possession of the Garden of Eden, a well-watered and landscaped paradise.

But when he chose to rebel against the word of God he fell from grace. There can be no claim to the experience of grace if we do not ardently embrace and follow of the word of God, which is called the word of grace (Acts 20:32).

With Jesus coming thousands of years after the sin in the Garden of Eden, we have another opportunity to get it right, to embrace the Word of God. Jesus is the embodiment of the word of God. God spoke about Jesus from heaven in the hearing of both Peter and John (while in a supernatural appearance, Moses and Elijah stood with Jesus on a mount): this is my beloved son hear him (Matthew 17:5). His rank is higher that Moses and Elijah, both of whom existed because of him (Colossians 1:16).

To truly hear is to allow our steps to be guided by what we have heard, it is to respond in faith to the word of God by acting based on it.

God wants humanity to hear Jesus, act based on the reality that he represents, the reality of the possibility of the reset in man’s relationship with God that went downhill since the mishap in the Garden of Eden.

We went down by rejecting the word, now we will come up by embracing the word, Jesus. Jesus is the Word who is God and the God who is the Word, he is the full communication of the father and he needs to be received (Hebrews 1:1-3).

A man prayed in the bible: send forth your truth which will guide me to your tabernacle (Psalm 43:3). Remember that with the sin the Garden of Eden, man was chased from the place where he had a close relationship with God, and now God has sent his son, he has sent the Word, and when we follow him, he leads us back to the presence of God, to an experience of God, to becoming partakers of the divine nature as we once were (2Peter 1:4).

We are made new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17), and are elevated to the heavenly places, the place of light as God moves us from the darkness that humanity was plunged into as we rejected the light of his presence (Colossians 1:13). In Jesus all was not lost, all was restored and more.

Advertisements

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s