Summary: As we finish our journey through the book of Joshua, we see the great encouragement but also the great challenges before us.
A Lifelong Journey with Christ
Today, we conclude our journey through the book of Joshua. Today, we finish our study of what has been a great encouragement to us all. But has also been a great challenge to us. We have discussed the work of the mighty hand of God on the life of Joshua.
We have discussed how God gave him great promises and great victories. And, we have discussed how those same promises and those same victories are ours as well. In crossing the Jordan on dry ground, in seeing what God had in store for them, in knowing how God delivered them from the hands of Jericho and how God gave them the land of which He had promised.
We have seen through these words the mighty power of God. How he cares for His children. How he delivers His children through the darkest days.
We read of what He did for Joshua and the nation of Israel. And we know that He is a God who watches out for our every need. Joshua witnessed God’s power, he witnessed God’s miraculous provisions, he witnessed God’s unimaginable victory. And through it all, Joshua knew that this was God a very God. And Joshua was in awe of this mighty God.
Through this book, we too have witnessed so many things that God did for His children. And we too stand in awe of this mighty God. I know that today I stand in awe of our mighty God. Five weeks ago, we all stood at the banks of our Jordan. We faced what seemed to be an insurmountable challenge. Yet, through this book and its encouraging words, we have once again learned about that God that my dad told us about for 51 years.
So many times, dad stood here and in the other sanctuaries that TRBC called home, and he told us how God would always deliver us through the challenges of life. Dad told us: “That you don’t determine a man or woman’s greatness by his wealth or education as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage them.” In other words, he told us that in the midst of our great challenges, we serve a great God. And God will always bring us through in victory.
Dad never doubted that power. Dad never doubted God’s deliverance. Dad never doubted the victory that God had in store. And today, we shouldn’t doubt God either. Today, we should believe in the God who brought victory after victory to this church and this ministry. Doubt can never be part of our vocabulary. Doubt and our faith in God are two concepts that cannot co-exist. As it says in Hebrews 11:6:
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Doubt: Wonders if God is listening
Faith: Knows God is listening
Doubt: Imagines the worst that can happen
Faith: Anticipates the best that can happen
Doubt: Pessimistic because it depends upon man
Faith: Optimistic because it depends upon God
Doubt: Thinks all hope is gone
Faith: Knows Christ is our hope
And so, through the book of Joshua, we see what God can do for his children who are committed to His word and committed to His work. Last week, we talked about a FRESH COMMITMENT to Christ. We focused on how we must be wholly committed to the work that God has called us to. Wholly committed to an intimate relationship with Christ.
Today, we are going to look at Joshua chapter 23 and, again, in chapter 24. This is where Joshua is speaking to the Israelites, delivering his farewell address. Joshua knew that his life was nearing its end. And he had a longing to share with his people the importance of following Christ, of staying true to His word, of making that fresh commitment to Him.
Let’s read in Joshua chapter 23 these compelling words.
Josh. 23:1 Now it came to pass, a long time after the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua was old, advanced in age. 2 And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers, and said to them: “I am old, advanced in age. 3 You have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the LORD your God is He who has fought for you. 4 See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward. 5 And the LORD your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the LORD your God promised you. 6 Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, 7 and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, 8 but you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. 9 For the LORD has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. 10 One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you. 11 Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God. 12 Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, 13 know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.