|When Joshua grew old, he reminded the leaders of Israel of everything God had done for them. God had brought them through the desert and into the Promised Land. He had given them victory after victory by his almighty power. The fighting wasn’t over yet. There were still large sections of the land to be brought into the fold.
Joshua reminded his people that the way forward was by walking with God, obeying his commands and rejecting sin no matter where they found it. God’s power and promises had brought them this far. They would do well to keep trusting God going forward.
We know that Israel didn’t always trust God. They were tempted by the culture around them and the sinful nature within them. When they chose sin, disaster followed. When they chose obedience, God blessed them. Joshua called on the people to give the Lord their allegiance, their obedience, and their love.
We have even more reason to trust God. We can learn from the entire history of Israel. We see how God consistently kept every one of his promises. We know that he even kept his promise to come to save us. He went to the cross for us. He paid for our sins, defeated the devil, and vanquished death.
We have Jesus’ promise to take care of us. Our way forward is by faith. Our way to heaven is Jesus. Whenever we choose sin, we get stress, chaos, and disaster. In Jesus we have forgiveness, security and rest.
Joshua 23:1–11 (EHV)
1After many days, when the Lord had given Israel rest from all its enemies all around, when Joshua had grown old and advanced in years, 2Joshua summoned all Israel—its elders, its heads, its judges, and its officers, and he said to them:
I have grown old and advanced in years. 3You yourselves have seen everything that the Lord your God has done for you against all these nations. Yes, the Lord your God was fighting for you! 4See now, I have allotted to your tribes an inheritance from these nations that remain unconquered, as well as from the nations that I have destroyed. It extends from the Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5The Lord your God himself will push them away from you and drive them out of your presence, until they perish. He will send wild animals among them until he completely destroys them and their kings from your presence and you will take possession of their land, just as the Lord your God promised you. 6You must be very resolute in carrying out all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses by not turning from it to the right or to the left, 7by not intermingling with these nations that remain with you. Do not ever call on or swear by the names of their gods. Never serve them and never bow down to them. 8But hold fast to the Lord your God, just as you have been doing to this day.
9The Lord has driven out great and powerful nations from among you. As for you, no one has stood up against you to this day. 10One of you would put a thousand to flight because the Lord your God himself was fighting for you, just as he promised you. 11Therefore, for your own sakes be very careful to love the Lord your God.
God bless you,
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Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
1501 Thomas St.
Marinette, WI 54143