Day 82: It’s Written For Us Joshua 18 - 20 and I Corinthians 9
It’s Written For Us
Joshua 18 - 20 and I Corinthians 9
The lesson of the ox. In the Bible we have these strange obscure laws like, Don't muzzle an ox while it is threshing grain. (Deut 25:4 CEV) And yet, within these strange and obscure sayings are layered implications. God is speaking to farmers about treating their animals with care. But he’s also picturing for us, something more - something deeper. He’s including these things for us, not just for the farmer. He wants to teach us about something - about the way we should treat those who serve and care for us - who work on behalf of our soul.
So, when we read through the Old Testament and it seems unrelated to our everyday experience (ie, How does muzzling an ox have anything to do with me? or What does it matter whether I write out a report of the land that God is wanting to give his people?) When we read these things we shouldn’t dismiss them. We need to see them for what they are. Yes, he’s speaking to the farmer. And yes, Joshua is speaking to the tribes of Israel. But God is speaking to us, too. It was written, not just for them, but for us, too. God is pointing us to a deeper reading, and sometimes that is alegorical, or analogous. In fact many of the church fathers felt that a “spiritual reading” of scripture was a higher form of engagement with the text. They welcomed this creative, allegorical interpretations of the text. deeper purpose, here in these passages.
Perhaps God would have us move forward in our faith, and take more of the life he is wanting for us. Maybe there’s a spiritual purpose of intentionality. Maybe God would have you chart out what he has in front of you. Maybe he would have you sit down and write out the boundaries of his blessings and gifts for you. Maybe you would find, as the children of Israel did, that there is unoccupied land, and gifts yet to be realized, in your life. God is wanting you to chart them, go out, and seize them. There’s a lesson in the ox.
Wasn’t he actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. (I Cor 9:10 NLT)
This whole Bible we are reading is written for us. It’s not just about oxen and writing reports. It’s about what God has done for us. It’s about God giving us more of His life and us learning to seize it and live in it.
Live with this principle of intentionality. Chart out all that God has for you. When you do that, you will find unoccupied land, regions of your life where God’s blessing is yet to be lived. Who knows what that report will read. But it will be good.
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