Monday, April 27, 2009

Beyond the River

3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac.

14 "Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Armorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Joshua 24:3 & 14-15, English Standard Version

Beyond the River

When I think of the usage of the term, "beyond the river" in the verses shown above, it reminds me of the phrase, "the other side of the tracks." The river of Jordan was not only the boundary of the land that God was giving to the Israelites, but it was also symbolic of their leaving their old life and worshiping and serving only the Lord God of Hosts.

We live at a time when our "river boundary" seems to be rather indistinct. Maybe the river is just at a continual flood stage. Where is the river that separates you, as a Christian, from the non believing world around you? Is there truly a visible distinction between your life and that of the culture surrounding you.

One of the tricks of Satan is to "muddy" the waters so that our lives lose that distinctiveness. He does not have to totally destroy us; as a matter of fact, it is often much more beneficial to him to cause us to lose our faithful testimony to the world around us. In muddy waters, it is much easier to see any hypocrisy that exists in our lives, thereby convincing the world that we are no different than they are.

We are certainly no more worthy of Christ than the world around us, but by the grace of God, there should be a definitive difference in our view of life than that of the world. Where they have despair, we have hope. Where they have tension and strife, we have the peace of God. Where they lack purpose, we are focused upon the glory of God and our future home with Him. Where they have grief and sadness, our grief and sadness is turned to joy.

Think about your status compared to the river. Which side are you on? Or, are you in the middle just muddying the waters.

May Christ strengthen and keep you this day.

God Bless You,

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