Faithful In All Things

Joshua the son of Nun was given the task of being the prophet Moses’ successor and leading the children of Israel in the conquest of Canaan – the Promised Land. Many centuries before God had promised His friend Abraham that his descendants would possess this land and its kingdoms, God would fulfill His promise through Joshua and the children of Israel (Joshua 21:41-45; cf. Genesis 13:15; Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:8; Genesis 26:3; Genesis 28:4,13).

It is one thing to claim to obey God, and it is another to obey God in all things. For example, the Lord gave Joshua a specific command how Israel was to conquer the Canaanite city of Jericho. A procession of   warriors and seven priests with ram’s horn trumpets were to accompany the carrying of the Ark of the Covenant, followed by the rest of Israel, encircling the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times. At the end of the seventh time on the seventh day the priests would blow a long blast on the ram’s horns, accompanied by a shout of the people and the walls of Jericho would come down allowing the warriors to attack (Joshua 6:5). God’s and Joshua’s instructions were followed to the letter in the conquest of Jericho, and st Joshua’s command, the people shouted and the walls of Jericho fell straight forward (Joshua 6:15-21).

Yet Joshua correctly inferred from God’s command that the people could only shout on the seventh day at Joshua’s command (Joshua 6:10). Yet God did not specifically command that they remain silent. But Joshua wanted to obey God in all things. He correctly inferred that God had implied in his command that there was to be no utterance until he gave the order to shout.

The same principle or law of implication applies today in Christianity. If a doctrine is implicitly taught in the Holy Bible, it is binding upon men, not because men have inferred it, but because God has implied it. In New Testament worship by the church of Christ “singing” is commanded (Colossians 3:16, 17; Ephesians 5:19). We may correctly infer from these verses that mechanical instruments of music may not be used, since the only instrument authorized for the worship of God is the human heart or mind (Ephesians 5:18-19).

What about our worship? If we claim to be a Christian, our worship should be authorized by the word of God (John 4:24; John 12:48; Colossians 3:17). It should not be driven by man-made traditions, emotional experience, musical taste, innovation, or even pragmatism (Matthew 15:8-9). It is to faithfully follow the New Testament. The next time we think that we are worshiping God with melodious melodies (however ancient!), blaring guitars, harps, trumpets, flutes, bagpipes or organs; let us stop and ask ourselves, “Am I worshiping God with His authority, or my own opinion?”  Are we striving to obey God in all things, including worship? (Matthew 7:21).  Roelf  L, Ruffner

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets