Today in church I begin teaching the book of Joshua. Joshua is directed
to meditate on and to obey the Word of God and promised the result will
be thrilling! That promise also applies to us, as today’s attached
devotional shows. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
“One day in 1945, Clarence W. Hall, a war correspondent following on the heels of our troops in Okinawa, came upon the tiny village of Shimabuku.
“It was an obscure little community of only a few hundred native Okinawans. Thirty years before, an American missionary on his way to Japan, had stopped here. He had not stayed long — just long enough to make a few converts, leave them a Bible, and pass on.
“One of the converts was Shosei Kina, the other…his brother Mojon. From the time of the missionary’s visit they had seen no other missionary and had had no contact with any other Christian person. But in those thirty years Shosei Kina and his brother had made their New Testament come alive….
“Aflame with their discovery, they taught the other villagers until every man, woman and child in Shimabuku had become a Christian. Shosei Kina became headman in the village; his brother, Mojon, the chief teacher. In Mojon’s school the Bible was read daily. To Shosei Kina’s village government, its precepts were law. Under the impact of this book, pagan practices fell away. In their place…there had developed a Christian democracy at its purest.
“Then after thirty years came the American army, storming across the island. Little Shimabuku was directly in its path and took some severe shelling. When our advance patrols swept up to the village compound, the GIs, guns leveled, stopped dead in their tracks as two little old men stepped forth, bowed low and began to speak.
“An interpreter explained that the old men were welcoming them as fellow Christians. They remembered that their missionary had come from America. So, though these Americans seemed to approach things a little differently…, the two old men were overjoyed to see them.
“The GIs reaction was typical. Flabbergasted, they sent for the chaplain.
“The chaplain came, and with him the officers of the Intelligence Service. They toured the village and were astonished at what they saw — spotlessly clean homes and streets, poised and gentle villagers, a high level of health and happiness, intelligence and prosperity. They had seen many other villages on Okinawa — villages of unbelievable poverty and filth. Against these Shimabuku shone like a diamond in a dung heap.
“Shosei Kina and his brother Mojon observed the American’s amazement and took it for disappointment… They bowed humbly and said, ‘We are sorry if we seem a backward people. We have, honored sirs, tried our best to follow the Bible and live like Jesus. Perhaps if you will show us how…’
“Hall relates that he strolled through Shimabuku one day with a tough old Army sergeant. As they walked the sergeant turned to him and whispered hoarsely, ‘I can’t figure it — this kind of people coming out of only a Bible and a couple of old guys who wanted to live like Jesus!’ Then he added a penetrating observation: ‘Maybe we’ve been using the wrong kind of weapons…'” [Richard Hall and Eugene P. Beitler, How To Read the Bible, (Philadelphia: Lippincott & Crowell Publishers, 1957), p. 17-19]