Title: Joshua and Judges: Crossing the Jordan - Obeying God's delegated authority, part 2. JOS 1:16-18.
The two and a half tribes answered at the ready and ready to serve Joshua in the same capacity as they did Moses.
JOS 1:16 And they answered Joshua, saying, "All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.
JOS 1:17 Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you; only may the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses.
JOS 1:18 Anyone who rebels against your command and does not obey your words in all that you command him, shall be put to death; only be strong and courageous."
The two and a half tribes show tremendous honor by honoring God's choice of authority, though Joshua is not Moses in style or personality.
These tribes honor Joshua's authority and so they honor God. All authority is from God. To honor authority is to honor Him.
God's direct authority is issued today through the word of God only. He has delegated authority to others under the laws of divine establishment.
God's direct authority is expressed in the word of God.
For each individual, being made in the image of God as they are, authority over their own soul rests in their volition or free will. No matter what amount of tyranny may exist over their bodies no one can enter a person's soul unless they choose to allow them to.
With power comes great responsibility. Sure, Spiderman has more physical power than you, but no one has more spiritual power than the believer. Since the unbeliever will find himself equipped with that very power through one decision to believe in Christ, we conclude that free will is an awesome power and so an awesome responsibility. Yet the fallen nature in man revealed immediately that he would have great difficulty taking responsibility for his own decisions.
And the man said, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
Often people seek advice on what to do from others, parents, friends, pastors, etc. and then blame them when the decision has consequences. This reveals an inability to answer your own questions and make your own decisions. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice, and the best place to find it is in prayer with the Father, as long as in the end you realize that the decision is yours. The inability to do this, which means taking risks and chances while not knowing the outcome to be profitable or not is the reason that Israel asked several times in the wilderness to return to slavery in Egypt.
After the report from the spies:
"And why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" So they said to one another, "Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt."
It is for this same reason that people would rather live on government assistance when they can work and why they want minimum wage to be hour, despite being told that it will severely damage the economy.
This inability to make good decisions from your own conscience while being compliant with the full weight of the responsibility for those decisions is the pathway to selfishness and self-absorption, even when faced with the pain in others that it inevitably causes.
Paul could have taken an easier way, knowing that God would simply use someone else, but that was not an option for a man like him. As we noted last night, that has nothing to do with his personality type, but it was his faith that pushed him to the point of compliance with the image of Christ.
1CO 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
1CO 9:25 And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
1CO 9:26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
1CO 9:27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
In marriage the husband has authority over the wife and is to love her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
This has not been a popular doctrine in the last few generations in our nation, but culture does not dictate to God where He is to delegate authority, nor does sin or evil in the minds of mankind.
Now the problem of decisions, the first delegated authority doubles. OSN problems, financial problems, the home, time spent together, work, etc. through all kinds of pressure upon a marriage.
Christian marriage is the marriage of the Garden of Eden restored, and even greater due to the presence of God's agape love.
While all the things mentioned do add pressure to the marriage the number one cause of failure in Christian marriage is the failure of virtue love in one spouse and then the other or in both simultaneously.
I do not at all desire to focus on divorce, but it is so common in our culture that it should be at least briefly stated. The scripture gives the cases of adultery and physical desertion as reasons for divorce. In DEU 24:1, uncleanness of the wife is given as a reason, which most legit scholars believe to be adultery, however this would not apply in the church age since we are not under the Mosaic Law. Adultery and desertion are stated in the New Testament. I personally would add physical abuse, but the Bible is silent on this issue.
In love the husband and the wife have clearly designated roles with the husband in authority, but also, from that position of authority, to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He is to love his wife as he loves his own body and the church is the body of Christ.
EPH 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;
EPH 5:26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
EPH 5:27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.
EPH 5:28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
EPH 5:29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
EPH 5:30 because we are members of His body.
EPH 5:31 For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
As Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her means that this love does not depend on her response to it.
She is not always loveable. She gets wrapped up in herself and resorts to the habits of her OSN. She gets emotional and so loses the ability to be objective. None of this has any bearing on the love of the husband for her.
Agape love is self-sacrificial. It gives its life for the other and seeks the benefit of the other, whether there is value in the other or not. It loves because love is right and God is love. It loves because there is no other way to life and it does so unconditionally.
1CO 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
1CO 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own [way], is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
1CO 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1CO 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1CO 13:8 Love never fails [is eternal]
When your wife is lovely and when she is unlovely, this is the love that you are to walk in, not looking to her for motivation and power, but to Him, who loved you and has and always will in this same way, by which He gave Himself up for you. When you are unlovely the Lord's love for you does not decrease even minutely.
The wife has the responsibility to submit to the authority of her husband and not just in areas that she agrees with him - "subject … in everything."
EPH 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
EPH 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
EPH 5:24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
If authority tells you to sin or to be a party to sin then you obey God rather than man, but do not bend that rule so that it fits with your desires. Israel was famous for bending the rules with fast and loose interpretations of obvious commands so that they could get their way. Not getting your way is not sin.
The wife must operate in agape love as well so when her husband is not inspiring her subjection, she does so anyway, as unto the Lord and not looking to the lack of virtue in her husband. The definition of agape love applies to her as well and in this she is a helpmate to her husband, though he does not deserve it. Can you be humble and submit to the authority of the Lord and so by such virtue you submit to the delegated authority of your husband as unto the Lord?
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them.
The subject of Christian marriage is important and since we are pursuing a short doctrine on authority, it is in our interest that we spend enough time on each subject of delegated authority. The nation is built upon families and so, strong Christian marriages build strong client nations. Not all, but much of the church is built upon families, therefore, strong Christian marriages contribute to strong churches.
For this reason we will give a close look to 1Pe 3.
1PE 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,
"In the same way" reveals to us that these are Christian wives who have unbelieving husbands since just prior, Peter dealt with the common situation in the early church of house-slaves who had unbelieving masters, who at times treated them badly. We studied that section not long ago.
Yet we would conclude that the Christian behavior of the wife towards a believing husband who happens to be acting like an unbeliever at a given time would be the same.
Do not conclude that because you are not a Christian wife that this doesn't apply to you, and I even mean the men, since all of us are under authority and this situation of a believing woman married to an unbelieving man is so very applicable to all believers when the authority that they are under is acting worldly, is unfair, or not understanding or wise.
After singling out as a particular class, Christian house-hold slaves, and exhorting them to be submissive to their masters and to patiently endure unjust punishment, Peter addresses another class of Christians which also was prominent in the early Church, namely, Christian wives who had unsaved husbands. The wife had been saved under the preaching of the gospel, but the husband had remained an unbeliever. These wives were seeking to win their husbands to the Lord Jesus. But they were going about it in the wrong way. The inspired apostle gives them instruction how to effectively witness to their husbands that they might be won to the Lord.
Peter exhorts them, in view of their husbands' obstinate rejection of the gospel, to stop talking about it, and just live a Christ-like life before them. The husband was to be won to the Lord Jesus not by nagging, but by holy living.
In other words, they heard and knew the gospel and now the Christian virtue in the wife would do the rest. There was no reason to keep telling them the gospel that they already heard and knew, but rather, now, the wife would display the person of Christ through her own behavior and conduct.
Both Peter and Paul found it necessary to impress upon the Church that incompatibility of religion did not justify dissolution of marriage. This subjection to their husbands would also be a factor which God could use in winning their husbands.
1PE 3:2 as they observe your chaste [pure] and respectful behavior.
We must conclude from this that the unsaved observe, somewhat carefully, the behavior of Christians.
Chaste is the Greek word hagnos, from the root word hagios which means sanctified or saint and so it means a behavior that is set apart from the world's view of as wife under less than inspiring leadership in her husband, in this case the unbelieving husband.
"chaste" - a`gno,j[hagnos] = pure from defilement, not contaminated, holy.
This will be observed by the husband in the perfect timing of God. Coming up (vs. 6) in this passage the woman will be commanded not to fear. Fear that it won't work, it won't work out for me, I won't be delivered, or that he'll never see it or notice, is all irrational fear in the face of God's instruction. Does He not promise that all things will work together for good to those who love Him and that eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man all the things that God has prepared to those that love Him?
1PE 3:3 And let not your adornment be merely external — braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;
1PE 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Peter is not asking them to dress plainly without makeup or jewelry and never doing their hair, but to make their adornment truly of the heart.
The word "merely" is not in the original, but added by the translators. Yet this still does not command dressing like an inmate. It emphasizes that the true adornment of the Christian woman is within her heart and she doesn't depend upon overt appearance for her beauty, yet she doesn't run over to the other extreme, being disheveled or unkempt.
The woman prior to salvation had only the world's way of adornment which is overt only. And, as such, she becomes a slave to the fashion of the time and culture and so conforms to the world's definition of beauty. This interpretation is even more obvious when we note that the Greek word for adornment is kosmos, which was used in classical Greek for the ornaments worn by women.