Archive for January 30th, 2012

Joshua 23

Joshua 23 has the end in sight for Joshua.  He is now old and advanced in years, and he is summarizing where things are.  “You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the Lord your God who has fought for you”.  God has driven out the enemy.  He has demonstrated His power.  He has fought for His people.  God has been faithful and Joshua is reminding them of that heritage.

It does come with some requirements however.  “Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left”.  Bottom line is that they need to walk the straight and narrow.  They are not to turn right or left – just follow.  It really is that simple.  We just need to follow God without taking a detour into the weeds along the way.  He charts the course.  We simply need to follow Him.  He is in control.  He has a perfect plan.  He is the almighty.  Joshua goes further and tells them to “cling to the Lord your God”.  God is the source.  We need to hang on tight.

He reminds them of the history: “One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God who fights for you”.  They have been multiplied in their effectiveness because God has done the heavy lifting.  He has enabled them to do far more.  But there is a warning here as well: “Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God….if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them….know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations”.  There are some requirements and expectations.  They have to stay connected with and committed to the living God.  He is not ok with sharing attention.  He is not willing to be just another God.  He alone is God.  He alone is worthy to be praised.

So Joshua drives that home as he finishes this chapter.  “If you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God…. and serve other gods and bow down to them….the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly”.  Joshus is extremely clear here.  If you mess around you will die.  God takes this very seriously.  He expects the covenant to be just that – a covenant that will not be broken – ever.  He is not tolerant.  He is not willing to bend the rules.  This is serious stuff for the people.  They have to follow Him and Him alone to continue in His blessing.

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