Summary: ask God always to search your heart in everything
We have learned so much from the Book of Joshua; we are now in the last chapter; we will look at the major part of the chapter and finish out the Book next week. Please open your bibles to Joshua 24; we will read what God did to choose a people, the Nation of Israel, and what Joshua the leader expected. Read along with me Joshua 24:1-28…
v1: Joshua, the leader, assembled all the Tribes of Israel. The passage does not tell us if Joshua did this on his own or God told him; but it seems that Joshua knew something was not right since he challenged the people! Let me note here, which is the underlying truth that we must grasp: Joshua may have had a sense that something was not right but only God can really knows the hearts of people! This is why I’d like all of us to memorize and apply our Scripture of the Week: Jeremiah 17:9-10 a- “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the LORD, search the heart …………..”
v2-13: The people were reminded of the history of Israel up to the Promised Land. God chose and protected a people!
Based on what God did, Joshua then told them how they should respond!28
v14: Because of God’s miraculous actions of love, the people should fear the Lord, serve Him, and throw away other gods.
Let us note that Joshua knew, perhaps God told him, that the people had other gods and so Joshua challenged them!
v15: Joshua made a commitment to God and challenged the people to also make a decision! How did the people respond?
v16-18: The people professed they would follow God only. Let us note: The people knew exactly what God did for them!
But then we note Joshua warned them again. Why did Joshua warn the people in v19-20??
v19-20: The people were warned because they had a history of lipservice.
v21-23: the people professed again to follow God; so Joshua told them to act on it! What did Joshua told them to specifically do?? Did the people actually responded in v24 to do exactly what they were told??
V24: The people made a general commitment to follow God.
V25-28: Joshua accepted the people’s word and made a memorial! Let us note this: If we follow the future, the people of Israel actually continued with their sinning; Joshua could only do so much. Even with a godly leader, like Joshua, no one can really make a person spiritually right for only God truly knows what’s in a person’s heart! We can pray for one another but every person, every Christian, is personally responsible for their own spiritual growth with God!.
What about us today?
1. What’s the most important thing that God has done for us?? –
John 3:16! God Jesus Christ suffered and died for all our sins!
2. How are we to respond to what God has done for us through Christ?? - Romans 10:9-10
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
3. Just like the Believers in Joshua 24…. We must obey 1 John 5:21! ……. keep yourselves from idols. What is an idol? An idol is anything or anyone which we allow in our lives to be ahead of God; if God is not number 1 in our lives in everything, then we have an idol we need to get rid of!
4. God knows our hearts! Let us heed the warning in Matthew 7:21-23…
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
But let us also note that there is something very significant that we have when we sin that they didn’t have in the Old Testament; what is it??
5. We can confess our sins and immediately be forgiven! 1 John 1:9…