September 2, Thursday Devotion
30 Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal. 31 He followed the commands that Moses the Lord’s servant had written in the Book of Instruction: “Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools.” Then on the altar they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord. 32 And as the Israelites watched, Joshua copied onto the stones of the altar the instructions Moses had given them.
33 Then all the Israelites—foreigners and native-born alike—along with the elders, officers, and judges, were divided into two groups. One group stood in front of Mount Gerizim, the other in front of Mount Ebal. Each group faced the other, and between them stood the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. This was all done according to the commands that Moses, the servant of the Lord, had previously given for blessing the people of Israel.
34 Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction. 35 Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them.
Our society puts great pressure that we need to leave our mark on the world. In fact, if you ask most people (especially the younger ones) their dreams involve being set apart from everyone else. For whatever reason, the emphasis of being a set apart people has shifted to being a set apart person. I won't lie. I still have dreams of being famous, or super-important in some huge thing, but in reality, I would rather say that I belong to the Church - the people who are set apart for God. Today's passage is a marking of the people being set apart from all the other nations. Would you rather be a person set apart or a member of a group that is set apart? Why?
God, you have created us in your image. May we come together to reflect you. Amen.