Fourth Sunday of Lent 2016: The Old Testament Passage – Growing in God

The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day. While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.” (Joshua 5:9-12)

When we “spoke” on Friday, we were looking at the passage from I Corinthians 10:1-13. The writer of Corinthians (Paul) was expounding on the topic of following God and God’s statutes closely; and that the Israelites were judged as not following God closely but rebelling against God. For this reason that generation did not see the land that was promised to them. This generation in the book of Joshua did.

What I want to point and highlight was that they no longer needed the manna – that is, they were not dependent on the Lord feeding them but were able to fend and forge for themselves. They had grown and matured. To them the Lord had done all that was promised; that is why the celebrated the passover – the time when the Lord released them from the bondage of the Egyptians. Or so goes the analogy that I am suggesting. Whether they were any better than their forebearers, I do not know. The Israelites/Hebrews/Jews have a mixed track record of following God. The Old Testament is filled with their failures; but, also their successes.

Paul (the writer of Corinthians) talks about spiritual food; milk for those who are young in the faith, and meat for those who have matured & can take the headier and heartier theologies and beliefs. When one can see ones sins and failings clearly – confess them and make amends – this is also a sign of maturity in God. I desire for you, beloved reader, to be mature in your faith. It is my hope and prayer that if you have spent years reading me (yes, I have been at this for years) that you have grown some in your faith. Not because I have been a teacher of faith but because the Spirit of God has spoken to you; although I would hope I have played some minor part.

May this season of Lent be another time of growth and maturity. Selah!