Biblical Faith Is Reasonable Faith — Joshua 24
Throughout the Old Testament, we see that the prophets and writers in the Bible are often told by the LORD the reason for His actions and commands. Through Isaiah, the LORD said, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). Though we may not totally understand this completed fact, by grace the LORD achieved this deliverance for believers through faith in Jesus Christ, and the New Testament gives us reasons why Jesus came, suffered, died, and rose again for us. Reasons we can give to believers and unbelievers alike.
In Joshua 24, the LORD through Joshua gives the people (and us) good and sufficient reasons to believe in, obey, and faithfully serve the LORD. In Joshua 24, the LORD lists many of the achievements of the Israelites’ ancestors that were made possible through His presence and power with them. With the help of the Holy Spirit, reason tells us that they and their ancestors would never have achieved what they did and begin living in the Promised Land in homes they had not built and eating from fields they had not sowed if the LORD had not provided these blessings for them.
Joshua gave the Israelites (and us) many reasons why he and his family chose to serve the LORD exclusively. And through Joshua, the LORD challenged all the people to put away from them all the false gods and idols they still carried with them. The LORD could and would meet all the needs of His faithful people (and He still does); they did not need false gods too. A brief study of mythology and the history of those who have worshiped false gods and idols, show these gods and their followers in this world taking unreasonable actions and doing both foolish and immoral things – even murdering their own children.
If not from our own experience, at least from our study of the Bible, we have good and sufficient reasons to obey this command from the Bible: “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense [answer] to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:15,16).
Despite all our prayerful efforts and the Holy Spirit’s help to reason from the Bible with people, some will still refuse to believe the Bible is true, as Jesus himself experienced. But Jesus has given us a reason for their refusal to come to faith in Him as Lord and Savior: “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God” (John 8:47).
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