Joshua is old, the tribes of Israel have been given their boundaries and he calls the people together to tell them that he’s…
‘divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes…’ and tells them that God will keep His promise to drive these nations out but as well as the promise there’s a warning…
‘Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;’
Friends, obedience takes courage. Obedience may mean being different, it may mean not always joining in with others or it may involve doing things that naturally we would shrink away from.
They were not to get drawn into the idol worship of the those around them and friends, neither are we…
‘And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.’
Friends, ‘God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness..
What does holiness mean? It means being consecrated or set apart!
So the children of Israel here and we today, are to keep ourselves separate from those things that would dishonour our God or draw us away from Him.
Instead we are to…’cleave unto the LORD your God’.
Cleave here means to abide fast, follow closely, be joined together!
There are so many lessons for us in the lives of the children of Israel.
Just as they were not to get drawn away, neither must we. As they were to cling to God, abide fast with Him, follow Him and His way closely, joined together with God in fighting and driving out the enemy, so must we.
How? Not in our own strength but through Christ…
‘for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.’
‘Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.’
‘if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations,…they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.’
Friends, if Jesus gave His life for you, will you not give yours for Him? For…
‘His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.’
Josh 23:5, 1 Thess 4:7, Josh 23:8,10,13, Sol 5:16