Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Joshua 12:1 (NIV)
These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern side of the Arabah:
Joshua 12:1 (MSG)
These are the kings that the People of Israel defeated and whose land they took on the east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, with the whole eastern side of the Arabah Valley.
“Now these are the kings of the land whom the sons of Israel defeated, and whose land they possessed beyond the Jordan toward the east, from the valley of the [river] Arnon to Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah [plain] to the east:” -AMPLIFIED
“During the furious accounts of battle, it is hard to see how much has been accomplished. But now we pause to reflect on everything that God has made possible—how many kings, states, and cities the people of Israel have defeated with God’s help. We start with those who fell when Moses was leader, and then go on to all those who have fallen since Joshua has been given command.” -footnote from The Voice
Joshua 12 is exclusively a catalog of what the Lord had done in conquering the land for Israel through Moses and Joshua. In fact, in the Voice translation verse one begins like this, “Here begins a catalog of the conquered, a list of the kings of the land who met defeat against the Israelites…”
The word remember is used over 250 times in the Amplified Version and 230 times in the New International Version. So the word itself must hold some importance. To remember is not just to recall, but to recognize the significance of, to commemorate, to learn from and to treasure.
The people of Israel were learning of the need and importance of both remembering and reflecting on the things that God had done for them. For to forget what God had done would bring with it dire consequences.
God, Himself, warned the children of Israel to be careful not to forget who it was that had brought them out of Israel and into the Promised land. (Notice that God was the one who realized that we tend to be forgetful.) “When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you’re going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn’t build, well-furnished houses you didn’t buy, come upon wells you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn’t plant. When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don’t forget how you got there—God brought you out of slavery in Egypt.” -Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (MSG)
Over and over again we find in Scripture these words; remember, remember and don’t forget, remember what the Lord has done, remember me. God’s little nudges for His children to bring their focus back to Him. When we forget what God has done for us we fall into sin, often the sin of pride. For we take our eyes off of the One who has made all things possible for us and put them on self, who is not able to do all things. “First pride, then the crash—the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.” -Proverbs 16:18 (MSG)
Lori Stewart, a guest segment producer at The 700 Club, wrote these words in her article The Problem of Forgetting: “As I was reading through the book of Psalms, I began to note all the times forgetting was mentioned (chapters 78, 103, 106, 137). Psalm 107 says when we forget it “tests God’s patience, frustrates the Holy One of Israel, and makes God’s anger rise.” That had my attention! At the end of my study, I was convinced that forgetting God’s goodness is a sin. Here are some reasons why:
1.Forgetting leads to unbelief, then rebellion.
2.Forgetting makes us do foolish things.
3.Forgetting ignites God’s anger.
The writer of Hebrews also reminds us of what happened to the children of Israel because they chose to forget what the Good Lord had done for them: “Listen now, to the voice of the Holy Spirit through what the psalmist wrote: Today, if you listen to His voice, Don’t harden your hearts the way they did in the bitter uprising at Meribah where your ancestors tested Me though they had seen My marvelous power. For the 40 years they traveled on to the land that I had promised them, that generation broke My heart. Grieving and angry, I said, “Their hearts are unfaithful; they don’t know what I want from them.” That is why I swore in anger they would never enter salvation’s rest.” -Hebrews 3:7-11 (VOICE)
Lest we too forget, let us remember and reflect upon the good things that God has done for us in our own lives.
God, Almighty, I do not want to forget the amazingly good things that you have done in my life. Help me to remember and reflect on your goodness; as well as be thankful for who you are to me. I am nothing without you, Lord God, I know this. Allow your Holy Spirit to remind me to take time each day to reflect on you and remember, share and glorify in who you are. Lord, I love you. You are AWESOME!