Sunday, 16 August 2020

Surprise Revelation and Inspiration

Scripture: Joshua 20 v 7 - 8:  "And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. 
8  And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh."

For the purpose of this word today we need to paraphrase the above verses to bring out the deeper message hidden in these words.  A message from God to surprise and uplift us.

"And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in Mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjath-arba, which is in Hebron in the mountain of Judah. And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward they assigned Bezer......and Ramoth in Gilead, .....and Golan in Bashan."

From these strange sounding verses comes a bundle of information. The Lord has set these places, called cities of refuge, to which a person who accidentally kills another can flee, so escaping a vengeance killing.  The first example of innocent till proven guilty, is here in our Bible.

However the names of the cities when given the English meaning contain another message altogether and can be a true blessing to us all.

The first city is called Kedesh which is the Hebrew word for holiness.  Holiness is separation to the will of God, so our entrance into salvation starts with separation from the world, sin, mind games, and everything that gets us into trouble with God.

We repent, which means change our minds from worldly, carnal activities, to that which is pure and spiritually right.  It takes discipline and determination for this work in progress to continue.

So we have been washed in the Blood of the Lamb when we reach Kedesh. This means we have no guilt before our Father and can approach Him with confidence and love.

The next city is called Shechem which means shoulder to shoulder.  This is unity and one common purpose.  We need to work together to build something powerful that will stand forever.  Our shoulders carry the heaviest burdens so we join our strengths together to grow in grace.

When we stand shoulder to shoulder we present a formidable  barrier to the onslaughts of the enemy. One sheep alone in a field is very vulnerable to a prowling wolf but a whole flock with a watchful Shepherd is a different prospect altogether.

Then we come to Hebron which means Fellowship with God. A vital part of our lives is to spend quality time in God's presence.  We must develop our relationship with God the Father and His Son Jesus through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who has come alongside us to help, teach and guide us. 

Our personal relationship with God and Jesus is what sets Christianity apart from every other religion.  It is our passport to Heaven.  Without the passport we cannot get on the plane.  Jesus died on the Cross to reconcile us to Our Father.  Sin destroyed our relationship with Him but the Blood shed on the Cross removed sin and restored us to our Father just like the prodigal son.  So keep up your fellowship with Him.

We journey on to Bezer which means Assurance. We have been made holy; have stood shoulder to shoulder with the saints and have had fellowship with God. This should give us plenty of assurance to keep going. We also have assurance that our Father hears and answers every prayer that is in line with His will for us. So make sure you know His will before you pray. Never pray your will for anyone, always wait for God to reveal His will.

1 Thessalonians 1 v 5 - 6: "For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:"

Ramoth means Height or Stature. Jesus will lift us up to our full stature as Kings and Priests. When the first Man, Adam, fell, the whole of God's Creation fell with him. Jesus was the Second Man, made in the image of God, and by His death and resurrection, raised us all to the original stature that Adam had. (1 Cor 15).

Between Adam and Jesus the stature of mankind was at the base level, carnal, dangerous, rebellious, subject fleshly desires.  Then Jesus became the firstfruits or prototype of the New Creation, which we are.  We are being changed to be like Him.  To live at the stature of Jesus Himself for we are His Body.

Which brings us to our final city Golan which means Joy.  When we have successfully made this journey our reward will be the joy of the Lord which is our strength. Our Father delights in the joy of His children. He desires to bless and encourage us. So make a spiritual journey through these cities of Israel to see and experience the blueprint for growth and revival given to Joshua in the Promised Land.

Shoulder to Shoulder
Fellowship with God

That's the hidden truth in these verses.  There are many depths and layers in the Bible if we search for them.  Jesus said Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened.  The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father thank You for this hidden gem in Your word. It opens up a wonderful experience for us to receive and enjoy Your closeness to us.  Please help us to fully appreciate the spiritual wealth stored in these cities for us.  In Jesus' name.