Joshua assembled everyone together at Shechem and the covenant was renewed. As you read Joshua 24, you will notice the word “I” is used a lot during the discussion. I took. I gave. I sent. I brought. I destroyed. I made. I rescued. All of this action, all from God. The people needed this reminder. The people needed it put before them.
We need this reminder too. If you read Joshua 24:2-15, you will see that it says “I gave” a total of eight times. Consider this today. Consider what God has given you today, this week, this month, this year. Better yet, look at this list. Remind yourself of something for each one. Today let us remember what the Lord has done for us. Let us thank and praise the great I AM.
There were different offerings given to the Lord including the Grain Offering. The Grain Offering was to show honor to God. Recently when I was reading Leviticus 2, I read about what was involved with the Grain Offering. There was choice flour, olive oil, and frankincense. But there was something else. Something else was added to the Grain Offering. Salt.
The salt was used to season the Grain Offering. That might sound strange to us because we think of salt as a seasoning for food that we will eat. Why would a person salt an offering that was going to be given to God? This salt was to remind the people of God’s covenant with them. Salt symbolized preservation. Salt symbolized healing. God offers us preservation and healing. This salt reminded people that God was active in their lives. He was active and he was offering preservation and healing and restoration.
Today we are still offered preservation and healing and restoration through Christ. Like salt, God can penetrate our lives and preserve them. He can offer us healing. He can offer us eternal preservation. But have you added the salt? Have you allowed God to penetrate your life? Are you allowing Him to be active in your life?
“Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.” – Leviticus 2:13 [NLT]
As I was driving home from work, the sky looked scary. A storm was nearby and the sky was gray up ahead and promised a nasty storm. There was a rain shower that quickly passed. I drove toward the gray area after a long day at work. Third Day’s song “Lift Up Your Face” was playing on the radio. I was in pain and only wanted to get home and put my feet up.
I turned the corner and listened closely to the song lyrics: “Lift up your face / Salvation is calling.” I looked up and before me was this beautiful rainbow. I considered what the rainbow symbolized and remembered His promises. I thought of a day He promised where I would feel no pain—when things would be different. I considered His love- His salvation- His mercy – His forgiveness. I started to feel a lot better.
Today lift up your face. Focus on God. Remind yourself of His promises to you—His Word—His mercy—His love. Remind yourself that He makes all things new. Remind yourself that things will not always be like this—He has promised us restoration.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” – Proverbs 4:25 [ESV]
“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” – Isaiah 49:16 [ESV]
Although I was told time and time again to not write on my hand, I continue to write things on my left hand so I do not forget what is important. As I was teaching a lesson this past weekend, a child asked what was written on my hand. It so happened to be a verse from Nehemiah. The night before I was reading from Nehemiah and found some verses I wanted to revisit. Most of the time you will find that my left hand has a fresh verse or remnants of past verses that have faded with the numerous hand washings, and I am okay with my dirty hands. They are reminders of what is important to me.
It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah that notes how God has us engraved on the palms of His hands. Imagine all of us, His sinful, flawed children, all written on His perfect hands. Can you see how important you are to Him? Can you grasp that you, YOU right there, matter to Him?
Too often we get caught up on being received well by those around us. We want to be loved. We want to be appreciated. We want to feel important. At times we find ourselves discouraged in these areas of our life. Today is a good day to remember just how important you are to the Most High God. Remember, He has your name written on His hand. You don’t have to do anything to get your name there—He put it there because He loves you. You are special. You are important.