Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 3 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.
Title: Joshua and Judges: The allotment of the land, part 3 - Predestination; Jos 14-17.
In Jos 17:14- 18 we find the sons of Joseph complaining about their allotment of land. Their initial excuse was that they were too many for the given land, however, their numbers did not justify that claim. Joshua turned it around on them, stating that if they were “so many” then they should have an easier time clearing the land of undesirables and any natural obstacles. It turns out that the reason for their complaint is their fear of the left over inhabitants whom these Israelites presume to be formidable. What they forget is that the allotment is from God and not by chance. It is God’s plan for them that they take this particular land and fight these particular battles. In the church age God has designed such a plan for each individual believer.
We each are assigned an individual and tailor made plan. Within it are battles, large and small, that we are to face. To complain, think we got short changed, or to envy the plan of another is to deem that plan as less than perfect.
Perfect God can only create perfect plans. They contain battles that will challenge our faith, and this is exactly what they are designed to do. It is good for the sons of Joseph to fight against and drive out the large men descended from Rephaim. Think about the increase in courage and faith it will give them when they see their success.
Our plans are tailor fit for us. Within them are lessons and faith builders that will only work for us. The very hairs of your head are numbered, meaning that God knows exactly what we need, and much more than we ourselves know. We are to fight the battle in front of us and not look to the left or to the right for alternative plans or lesser battles.
Predestination is the work of God the Father before the foundation of the world for every Church Age believer to execute God’s plan, purpose, and will for his life. It is for believer's only.
The unbeliever is not predestined to the Lake of Fire. God wills all men to be saved and so the unbeliever chooses eternal independence from God. Only the believer is predestined.
Predestination does not mean that God forces a believer to walk a certain path. The path is graciously provided and revealed by God and the believer chooses to walk it.
Therefore, predestination is the grace provision of God the Father for the royal family.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Eph 1:4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love
Eph 1:5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
God's sons and daughters always have a grand purpose, vs. 11.
Eph 1:6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Eph 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace,
Eph 1:8 which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight
Eph 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him
"Purposed in Him" - Christ's first advent, His life and work, was predetermined by the Father, which the humanity of Christ fully obeyed.
this Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
Eph 1:10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him
Eph 1:11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
Eph 1:12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
The purpose in each believer's predestination is to be conformed to the image of Christ. This transformation requires unique circumstances in each believer's life.
By unique we mean the particular circumstances that God directs and allows in the life of each believer. These circumstances and the people in them are masterfully and perfectly designed for only one believer. In them, God’s genius forges a path for that one person in which lessons of faith and tests of faith lead him and only him towards being conformed into the image of Christ.
Rom 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
Rom 8:30 and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
The glorious story is told in five words, "foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified."
The first step is foreknowledge. It can simply mean "to know beforehand" or it can mean a deliberative judgment, which judgment is for fixing a limit on something. In the case of the church age believer, God fixed a limit upon him as saved and sanctified, or delivered from all sin and set apart unto God as His child. The limit includes the inability to go to the Lake of Fire, the inability to ever be ruled by the sin nature or the world system again, the inability to fear death, the inability to live out of fellowship with God, etc. While it is true that the believer can choose to live under the power of the sin nature and the world system and that he can choose to fear death and to walk out of fellowship with God in darkness, these are only the result of his stupidity and not ever for the reason that any of these things have usurped God’s power and taken rulership over the believer. If the believer remains stupid in time it does not prevent these limitations from becoming a complete reality in heaven. He is a saved person and God has placed certain wonderful and eternal limits upon him. This is foreknowledge.
God knew all who would believe before they were created, before the foundation of the world. The Alpha and Omega knows the end from the beginning. To these believers, before the formation of the world, God fixed a boundary. They were designated to the position of a saved person.
Foreknowledge: Before the foundation of the world God knew all who would believe and He designated them to the position of a saved person.
The following analogy comes from Kenneth Wuest's work, Bypaths in the Greek New Testament, chapter 13, The Divine Sculptor's Masterpiece.
We may picture a huge quarry of granite which is visited by a sculptor. The quarry is the human race and the Sculptor is God the Father. Imagine that the quarry has all be cut into large granite blocks representing individual men. The Father foreknows which would believe in His Son. To the natural eye, they look no different than the other blocks, but the foreknowing eye of the Father sees something that no other man can see, and He calls out for certain of the blocks. One might wonder at His selection, for so many of them seem to be the least promising of all those from which He had to choose - so many of them are scared, weathered, and cracked.
1Co 1:26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
1Co 1:27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
1Co 1:28 and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are,
1Co 1:29 that no man should boast before God.
1Co 1:30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
1Co 1:31 that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."
The Sculptor had a wonderful Son. He has come to the decision that He would like a group of statues all made in the very image of that Son.
Yet, the Father had determined to make some images of His Son, the Lord Jesus, not carved out of granite, but molded from living personalities. He passed angels and chose men.
For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.
In order to see this verse in its wonderful context, we will study the second chapter of Hebrews in light of the topic of predestination.