Wednesday, November 10, 2010

careful to love God

One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you. Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God.
Joshua 23:10-11

This chapter is a short but powerful sermon that is one of the last things that Joshua said to the entire nation of Israel. He reminds the nation of the good things God has given them in the Promised Land. He reminds them of the fact that God has led them to victory and given them the lives that they now enjoy. He has really emphasized God's faithfulness to the covenant and to the conquest of Canaan for His people.

Along with this reminder of what God has done in tribute to His faithfulness, Joshua issues several calls to faithfulness for Israel. He has urged them to be strong in their faithfulness to keeping the Law of God (Joshua 23:6). He has told them to "cling" to the Lord their God (Joshua 23:8). He emphasizes that God has not forgotten even one of His promises to His people (Joshua 23:14). And then Joshua warns them that negligence to do cling to God and keep His Law and giving in to the temptation to turn aside to the lifestyle and worship of the Canaanites would bring judgment from God (Joshua 23:12-13; 15-16).

The Israelites were to be marked by an an attitude of carefulness to faithfulness. Implied in this warning and encouragement is that effort was involved. They had to be spiritually vigilant. They had to be strong and true. They had to trust in the God Who fought for them. They needed to be sure that their lives were committed to worship. Joshua as a leader kept the focus on the important priorities, and Israel under his guidance would be reminded to do the same. Loving God is a discipline, but it one that brings good life to all who are careful to love and obey the Lord their God!

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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