A Mother’s Love –A Father’s Strength
“I will comfort you there
like a mother
comforting her child.”
Communicating your motives and intentions to someone who is at odds with you is not always easy. When people form opinions and attitudes and it can be very difficult for us to work through them. Some just don’t worry about what someone else thinks about them. Others find dealing with misunderstandings to be agonizing. They care a great deal when someone has a misconception of them, or questioned their motives.
Israel has questioned God’s treatment of them. They have determined that God has acted capriciously with them and that He can’t be trusted. They have concluded that He is uncaring and hard to reach. People build up these misconceptions and ideas and it seems that nothing can set it right. The book of Proverbs tells us “that a brother offended is harder to win over then a city with walls”.
The tender imagery of a mother holding a child is something we all can visualize and understand. It has universal wallop. God specifically chooses that image to communicate what His true feelings are. He chooses an example that will convey the burdens and thoughts of His heart.
God loves His people. We often misinterpret or misconstrue His dealings and attitudes. But God points to the imagery of a mom with a child to say, “That’s me with you”. This particular verse speak of “comforting”. The word carries the connotation of “soothing” or “cooing, calming, quieting”. When a young one is agitated or upset, a mother is typically the only one who can make a difference.
We live in a world that has distorted and belittled God and the church. We have satanic influences that disturb and defraud many. The are many ugly misconceptions and fears that confuse the truth. Many feel that Christianity is a hokey-sham with little to commend it to the real needs of man. I know for certain that this is not true.
Brokenbeliever, let God remake Himself in your thinking, reading and worship. Learn to see from His perspective. Redo and remodel your thoughts and perceptions. He is waiting with His motherly arms, to sooth and to calm you. He can be trusted.
Three Translations of Joshua 3:5
Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”, NIV
Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”, NLT
Joshua told the people, ” Make yourselves acceptable to worship the LORD, because he is going to do some amazing things for us.”, CEV
The three translations of the same verse in Joshua each contributes a thought that adds to the whole. Very often we need to make a comparison like this to speed our understanding. There is a common theme of spiritual preparation. Also anticipated is a direct intervention by God Himself.
Joshua is charged with not only the physical, but spiritual condition of the people. He has sensed that God is going to amaze everyone, and He is on the verge of taking this mass of people through the river and into the Promised Land. This will be the fulfillment of an awesome covenant promise.
Joshua has taken the initiative. He declares the need of the people to prepare. They are about to be led by God. He builds anticipation for the grand things imminently approaching. But the Israelites have got to prepare. They must get ready. Effort needs to be made.
We have a strong tendency to see God’s promises apart from our efforts to prepare for them. We think God saves us by grace. But a faith that doesn’t work, cannot save.
“We are not made righteous by doing righteous deeds; but when we have been made righteous we do righteous deeds.” –Martin Luther
We cohabit with a Holy God who is like a strange roommate insists on sharing everything. (Everything He does, in some way He does for us.) “He picks up the tab” for everything! Joshua, on the other hand, has 12 hours to get Israel ready. The people must adjust. He declares that everyone make themselves decent, to cleanse themselves from sin and give themselves to God. Israel must do some things to get ready.
We must not enervate our faith to turn it into some religious jello— a blob with no backbone. Our faith must work, and sweat. If it doesn’t, we are in trouble. I’m thrilled to be saved by grace through faith. It is a precious marvel to me. But I must remember that the grace that saves is a grace that works. I don’t want my faith to be jello faith. I want it to be a living faith.
“As in the candle I know there is both light and heat, but put out the candle, and they are both gone.” Unknown
“I am the door, and the person who enters through me will be saved and will be able to come in and go out and find pasture.”
A more wonderful truth could not be told! I so often struggle with my own mental illness, especially with an assurance of salvation. I guess I think that it can’t be this good. Jesus is the door. The entry point we come to when we are really looking. We must traverse the threshold to find eternal life.
Pasture now can now be found. Once we touch base with Him, we can proceed in our quest for rich pasture. You might say that we become qualified to locate that which are soul craves and needs. His presence gives us a spacious freedom.
Philosophy and religion are methodologies which many try to work for them. People do their best, but the door is closed. There is no other way in. If the door is closed, none can open. Access is restricted to those who come through the door.
There exists a certain latitude to those who enter through the door. A liberty exists for those who come in properly. We are free to come and go, as it suits us. Once we enter through Jesus, life opens up and we can live out outrageous lives of graceful choices.
We are so blessed! Through the influence of Jesus Christ, and His active intervention on our behalf, doors are open to us that were once securely closed. We have become available to all that is beyond. It calls to us, and we enter the rich, young day. We have become, the children of faith.