Facing Life’s Obstacles

  • September 21, 2019
Saturday 21

Joshua 1:1-9

As Joshua stepped into Moses’ giant-sized sandals, he faced a tremendous challenge: bringing the Israelites into the Promised Land. The responsibility was huge, and we can surmise from the Lord’s repeated commands to “be strong and courageous” that Joshua was probably not feeling up to the task (Josh. 1:6-7; Josh. 1:9).

At one time or another, we all face obstacles that seem insurmountable. The question is, How will we respond? Some people try to push through or manipulate their way around the barriers, while others wallow in hopelessness and give up. But the Lord wants us to trust Him to remove each impediment.

Any obstacle that stands between us and God’s purpose is subject to His supernatural power. Most of us would readily agree that nothing is too difficult for the Lord, but fear and worry reveal our doubts. By focusing on the problem, we allow it to grow and block our view of almighty God.

Knowing the difficulty of Joshua’s assignment, the Lord assured him that he would be successful in completing the mission. God’s responsibility was to remove every hindrance that stood between the Israelites and the land He had promised to give them. Joshua’s job was to believe the Lord and carefully obey all His commands.

Obstacles are one way that our faith can grow. When you are confused and cannot see how God could work out your situation, do not walk away in defeat and miss His blessing. He wants to teach you His way of obedience, trust, and courage. Believe Him—He always keeps His promises.

Bible in One Year: Amos 1-4

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1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying,

2 Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.

3 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.

4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.

5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.

6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

1 The words of Amos, who was among the sheepherders from Tekoa, which he envisioned in visions concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

2 He said, The LORD roars from Zion And from Jerusalem He utters His voice; And the shepherds' pasture grounds mourn, And the summit of Carmel dries up."

3 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron.

4 So I will send fire upon the house of Hazael And it will consume the citadels of Ben-hadad.

5 I will also break the gate bar of Damascus, And cut off the inhabitant from the valley of Aven, And him who holds the scepter, from Beth-eden; So the people of Aram will go exiled to Kir," Says the LORD.

6 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of Gaza and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they deported an entire population To deliver it up to Edom.

7 So I will send fire upon the wall of Gaza And it will consume her citadels.

8 I will also cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, And him who holds the scepter, from Ashkelon; I will even unleash My power upon Ekron, And the remnant of the Philistines will perish," Says the Lord GOD.

9 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of Tyre and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they delivered up an entire population to Edom And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.

10 So I will send fire upon the wall of Tyre And it will consume her citadels."

11 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of Edom and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, While he stifled his compassion; His anger also tore continually, And he maintained his fury forever.

12 So I will send fire upon Teman And it will consume the citadels of Bozrah."

13 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead In order to enlarge their borders.

14 So I will kindle a fire on the wall of Rabbah And it will consume her citadels Amid war cries on the day of battle, And a storm on the day of tempest.

15 Their king will go into exile, He and his princes together," says the LORD.

1 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of Moab and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.

2 So I will send fire upon Moab And it will consume the citadels of Kerioth; And Moab will die amid tumult, With war cries and the sound of a trumpet.

3 I will also cut off the judge from her midst And slay all her princes with him," says the LORD.

4 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of Judah and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they rejected the law of the LORD And have not kept His statutes; Their lies also have led them astray, Those after which their fathers walked.

5 So I will send fire upon Judah And it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem."

6 Thus says the LORD, For three transgressions of Israel and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they sell the righteous for money And the needy for a pair of sandals.

7 These who pant after the very dust of the earth on the head of the helpless Also turn aside the way of the humble; And a man and his father resort to the same girl In order to profane My holy name.

8 On garments taken as pledges they stretch out beside every altar, And in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined.

9 Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, Though his height was like the height of cedars And he was strong as the oaks; I even destroyed his fruit above and his root below.

10 It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, And I led you in the wilderness forty years That you might take possession of the land of the Amorite.

11 Then I raised up some of your sons to be prophets And some of your young men to be Nazirites. Is this not so, O sons of Israel?" declares the LORD.

12 But you made the Nazirites drink wine, And you commanded the prophets saying, `You shall not prophesy!'

13 Behold, I am weighted down beneath you As a wagon is weighted down when filled with sheaves.

14 Flight will perish from the swift, And the stalwart will not strengthen his power, Nor the mighty man save his life.

15 He who grasps the bow will not stand his ground, The swift of foot will not escape, Nor will he who rides the horse save his life.

16 Even the bravest among the warriors will flee naked in that day," declares the LORD.

1 Hear this word which the LORD has spoken against you, sons of Israel, against the entire family which He brought up from the land of Egypt:

2 You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

3 Do two men walk together unless they have made an appointment?

4 Does a lion roar in the forest when he has no prey? Does a young lion growl from his den unless he has captured something?

5 Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground when there is no bait in it? Does a trap spring up from the earth when it captures nothing at all?

6 If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?

7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.

8 A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken! Who can but prophesy?

9 Proclaim on the citadels in Ashdod and on the citadels in the land of Egypt and say, Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria and see the great tumults within her and the oppressions in her midst.

10 But they do not know how to do what is right," declares the LORD, these who hoard up violence and devastation in their citadels."

11 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, An enemy, even one surrounding the land, Will pull down your strength from you And your citadels will be looted."

12 Thus says the LORD, Just as the shepherd snatches from the lion's mouth a couple of legs or a piece of an ear, So will the sons of Israel dwelling in Samaria be snatched away-- With the corner of a bed and the cover of a couch!

13 Hear and testify against the house of Jacob," Declares the Lord GOD, the God of hosts.

14 For on the day that I punish Israel's transgressions, I will also punish the altars of Bethel; The horns of the altar will be cut off And they will fall to the ground.

15 I will also smite the winter house together with the summer house; The houses of ivory will also perish And the great houses will come to an end," Declares the LORD.

1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, Bring now, that we may drink!"

2 The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness, Behold, the days are coming upon you When they will take you away with meat hooks, And the last of you with fish hooks.

3 You will go out through breaches in the walls, Each one straight before her, And you will be cast to Harmon," declares the LORD.

4 Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days.

5 Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel," Declares the Lord GOD.

6 But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities And lack of bread in all your places, Yet you have not returned to Me," declares the LORD.

7 Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you While there were still three months until harvest. Then I would send rain on one city And on another city I would not send rain; One part would be rained on, While the part not rained on would dry up.

8 So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water, But would not be satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me," declares the LORD.

9 I smote you with scorching wind and mildew; And the caterpillar was devouring Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees; Yet you have not returned to Me," declares the LORD.

10 I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me," declares the LORD.

11 I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me," declares the LORD.

12 Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel."

13 For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The LORD God of hosts is His name.

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Publish Date October 14, 2019
Understanding God’s Promises

All of God's promises are true, but that doesn't mean we can take them out of their scriptural context.

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