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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

March 15, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: Joshua 16-18


Joshua 17:15

And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.


Joshua sums up in just a few words that which many a preacher would like to say to those who think they are so great. If thou be a great people, then get thee up… In today’s vernacular it might be, “If you are so great, then do something great!”  There are many self-deluded individuals who think they are so great when really, they are complainers, mockers, mal contents, and scorners. What great things have they done?


Joshua was speaking to the children of Manasseh directly and to Ephraim indirectly as both tribes were the children of Joseph. In verse 14 they made a case for themselves thinking that their land, their inheritance, was too small for their greatness. And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the Lord hath blessed me hitherto? Joshua’s response? A paraphrase would be “If you’re so great and God has blessed you so mightily, then have faith in that God and go up and take the land!”  Notice their response. The Canaanites have chariots of iron. To which Joshua encouraged them that they could and would drive out the Canaanites.


Back to the point. If a person is great they will do something great. Consider marriage. If a person is great they will carve out a great marriage. Consider business. If a person is great in business they will carve out a wonderful career in business. Ministering? If a person is great in ministry they will carve out a great ministry. John the beloved, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost wrote words that drive home the similar point. He wrote: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous (I John 3:7). There are many today who claim righteousness, but they are not righteous. They have been deceived. Likewise, there are those who think they are great yet, they have no great accomplishments. 


In Daniel 11:32 it is written …but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. Meaning they will do something great. God’s people are to be great, through which they will do great things; being strong and thereby do exploits. (Exploit is defined as “a deed or act; more especially, a heroic act; a deed of renown; a great or noble achievement…” Webster’s 1828 dictionary) 


Theodore Roosevelt seemed to echo the same thoughts in his great speech in Paris in 1910. "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Yes, indeed, a great person will accomplish great things. To think oneself as great is one thing, to be great is quite another, like continuing and finishing the great work of reading your Bible through this, and every year; moving yourself from I will read, to I have read my Bible through again!

Dr. William T. Howe

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