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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: July 6, 2023

In a sense, the story of salvation, both for Israel and for all mankind, is a story about going home. When God sets His people free and swears to bring them into a good land where they can serve Him in righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, it’s not just any land. It’s the land of their father Abraham, the one called out of a house of idolatry into the house of the true God through faith. When God calls them to find rest in him, He doesn’t call them into a new land. He calls them to the place where they’ve always belonged.

So when Joshua gives his dying words to his people, when he takes them through the history of their liberation and their warring in the wilderness, he’s ultimately saying to them: God has finished this chapter in the story of bringing you home. So don’t rip those pages out of the book. Stay where you belong. Don’t wander back into the jaws of Satan by embracing the gods of foreign lands and foreign peoples. Stay in the arms of your Father until He gives you the Brother who will bring you into the eternal kingdom reflected in this land you call home.

And so, let us hear those words because the story of salvation is all about us coming home as well. Once, in the loins of Adam and Eve, we lived in paradise, in the garden overflowing with God’s favor. But when our first parents fell into sin and brought death into the world, death threw us out of the garden and into the wilderness. We were driven from our home where sin warred against us, devoured us, and turned us into enemies of God and slaves of idolatry. But then Jesus Christ found us in the wilderness upon His cross. Then the new Gardener burst forth from the tomb and exiled death from the garden. Then the Savior carried us through the River Baptism back into the garden of eternal life, back into the arms of our Father, back home.

So as you wait for Christ to return and unveil the fulness of this glorious kingdom, listen to Joshua’s warning. Don’t run back into unbelief. Don’t listen to the seductive song of Satan as he tempts you to leave the land of your Father and join him in the condemnation of the wilderness. Don’t cross the river that separates you from death. Stay home. Because, through Jesus Christ the New Joshua, that’s where you’ll always belong.

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