Lessons from Joshua Chapter 23

I’ve been reading in the book of Joshua, partly because it’s been a long time since I read it last and partly because I knew there were many commands to not be afraid and to be courageous. I’ve been reminded recently that I’m not very good about “not being afraid”. So I decided to do a study on looking for those commands and meditate on them more for reasons why I should not be afraid. What I’m sharing here actually doesn’t have the command “do not be afraid” but it does give us directions how we should live.

For a bit of context, Joshua has led the people of Israel for many years in conquering the land of Canaan. He spent years in battle then as judge and leader, dividing the land up between the tribes and assigning the entire nation their inheritance. In a book I read the other day, Following God with all your Heart by Elizabeth George, she wrote: Envision trying to manage this diverse crowd and attempting to please two million-plus new home owners, all of whom wanted property with water and the best views and, of course, maximum curb appeal (Joshua 1:3-19). Joshua aged quite a bit I’m sure with all that he had to do in leading the people, including that amusing possible scenario above.

Imagine he’s old now,¬† and he called the people together to give his “last counsels”. I was taking notes recently and four things jumped out to me from this chapter.

He reminded the people in verse 3 of what God had done for them: For the Lord your God is he that hath fought for you.

God fights for us.

Joshua reminded the people of how the land was captured, and then divided. That God expelled the nations out of Canaan. (4-5)

Then in verse 6, Joshua challenged the people to be 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.

We are to obey the law, God’s Word.

Joshua commands the people to not do like the nations around them.

In verse 8 he says: But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day. The people were to cling and seek God, he was there for them.

We are to cleave to God.

He is faithful. Remember, he fights for us, then of course we need to stay close to Him! We need to cling to him like little kids cling to their mothers.

Again Joshua reminded the people again of what God did for them in driving out the nations from the land. Then in verse 11 he declared: Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.

We are to love God.

There are so many commands in the Bible to love God, but here is one that for the people of Israel, it was conditional. In the following verses Joshua warns that if they do not obey, they would perish. We see that happen again and again in the rest of the Old Testament, and even up to today in world history.

Now we as Christians can’t claim all of the promises for Israel, but we can know as redeemed children of God that we should obey His Word.

Remember, God fights for us, and since he fights for us, we are to obey Him, cleave (cling) to Him and we are to love Him.

God bless you,




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