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Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, My Children’s ‘Papére’ wrote,

It's so amazing, this journey of the children of Israel. If even the chosen people can be so easily deceived with all that they witnessed God doing for them, how much more must we be diligent to remain fearing the Lord our God!

Woe to the man who is not fearing the Lord God , and diligently seeking His Grace Empowerment continualy ...

Praise God, He blesses those who are faithful to keep His commands.

It is good, to trust and obey the Lord our God. In His power, let us be careful to do so, and Love Him with all that we are.

Blessed are those who serve the Lord God, may His strength, His Word, His Grace empowerment give you the ability To do so.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.". John‬ ‭14:15-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬ 

“"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him."  ‭‭John‬ ‭14:15-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬ 


Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Sunday, March 26, 2017, Yujin wrote,

Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul (Joshua 22:5).

Joshua gave this charge to the people of Israel at the height of their conquests and near the end of his commission to lead them. Of all the things he emphasized, his concern was not leadership, management, strategy, or logistics. His concern, even his emphasis, was that they do their utmost to remain faithful to the LORD.

I am reminded of the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 6:33: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Isn't Joshua's charge to Israel also the Lord's charge to us today? What is important is our relationship to the LORD, not our success, not our jobs, not our families. These are only important as they are outworkings of our faithfulness to God. 

As the Lord reminds me today, so I remind you, 'Seek the LORD! His will, His glory!'

Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, Yujin wrote,

So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God (Joshua 23:11).

Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth (Joshua 24:15).

In Joshua's final charge to the children of Israel, he exhorted them to be diligent and earnest in fearing, loving, and serving the LORD. But as our brother, Stephen, has observed, Joshua also made the observation that they "will not be able to serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:19). Even so, he still gave the charge to obey. The people's inability to perfectly obey God's commands did not nullify God's requirement to do so. The expectation was still that the people would give every effort to obey, even though this effort would not be sufficient to gain them a right standing with God. 

But what kind of effort was expected of them? Consider what Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 6:5-9,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

They were expected to love the LORD with their whole selves. To this end they were commanded to immerse themselves in the Law of God, so that they were always talking about it, thinking about it, and in every way being reminded of it. In this way, they would learn to love God with their whole selves.

Since the command to love God with our whole selves is both a New Covenant command as well as an Old Covenant command, might not the approach given to pursue such obedience also apply to Christians today? We too ought to immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Ancient Israel only had the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, but we have the whole counsel of Scripture, the sixty-six books that constitute our inspired and inerrant Bible. 

Do you want to  know how to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength? Immerse yourself in the Word of God, so that you are always talking about it, thinking about it, and in every way being reminded of it. Yet, by doing all this, do not imagine that you have a right standing with God. That is only accomplished by God's grace through the finished work of Christ on the cross.

But the best that we can do in this life is to fully and only trust in Christ for our salvation even as we diligently study and obey His Word. 

Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Monday, March 26, 2012 (Last Updated on 3/26/2013), Yujin wrote,

“So be very careful to follow everything Moses wrote in the Book of Instruction. Do not deviate from it, turning either to the right or to the left. Make sure you do not associate with the other people still remaining in the land. Do not even mention the names of their gods, much less swear by them or serve them or worship them. (Joshua 23:6, 7 NLT)

In our quest for truth, sometimes we feel that we need to know everything about everything. But who has the time? And the Scriptures teach, "Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought" (1 Corinthians 8:2). Likewise, we are always at risk of thinking we have found our way when we are still lost. As we learn from other Scriptures: "If any of you think you are something when you are nothing, you deceive yourselves" (Galatians 6:3). And again, we read, "If any of you think that you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become fools so that you may truly become wise" (1 Corinthians 13:18). Perhaps we need to gain discernment as much as truth. And it is this discernment that I want to encourage today.

I have often encouraged the pursuit of truth in my witness. I have done so based on my conviction that all truth is God's truth. But I know that not all truth is of equal value. The truth about how to throw a ball is not as significant as the truth about how one can please God. My hope is that in a person's pursuit of truth, they would discover the highest truth, namely, God's Word. So Jesus also prays for the disciples, "Sanctify them in Your truth. Your Word is truth" (John 17:17). And Jesus also taught that "If you hold to my teaching... Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Now, in the Proverbs, we read,

And if you look for it (i.e. understanding) as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure, 
then you will understand the fear of the LORD (Proverbs 2:4-5).

But in this quest for understanding, as greater truth is discerned, it is necessary for a person to focus their pursuit, so that they are giving more time, attention and energy to the greater truths and not equal time, attention and energy to everything. For example, if you knew that a certain exercise yields better, faster and more healthful results than another, wouldn't you give more time to that exercise over others? Some techniques achieve some goals better than others. Some insights are more helpful than others in achieving financial freedom. Some types of giving to charities or ministries are more responsible and wise than others. When you hunt for treasure, you narrow down the locations of where the treasure might be. When you have done this and found the specific location for it, you don't keep looking at other locations. No, you begin to dig at that specific location. You dig down and all around so that you don't miss any of it. 

For the people of Israel, God revealed Himself to them and made it abundantly clear that He was the only God and that there were no other gods but Him. Therefore, there was no need for them to inquire after other gods. To do so would only cause them and future generations to stumble. It was more important for them to spend their time, attention and energy in knowing the will of the one, true God so that they would carefully obey everything He commanded them.

Friends, have you come to know the LORD as God, even Jesus as your only Savior? Have you come to understand that the Bible is the only sure and authoritative revelation of God's will for man? If so, consider what you are giving your time, attention and energy to every day. Let us repent and worship the Lord alone.

Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Sunday, March 27, 2011 (Last Updated on 3/26/2012), Stephen wrote,

The quarter of this year is going to pass by soon and we're finishing up the sixth book of the OT.  Let us encourage each other to continue to read the Word and renew our mind!

 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” 

Joshua here encouraged the Israelites to choose God for themselves.  Then he says,

“You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.” 

 Isn't it interesting that even though Joshua already knew that they would forsake the Lord and follow other gods, he still encouraged them to choose God?  Many people think and sincerely believe that salvation is a matter of whether we choose God or not when the invitation is given.  Joshua clearly says here that they cannot serve God, not that they will not serve God.  This is exactly what the apostle Paul says in Romans 9, "The sinful mind is hostile to God.  It does not submit to God's Law, nor can it do so.  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God."  His sovereign will for the salvation is everywhere in the Bible.  Let's continue to uphold the truth by reading and learning everyday from God's Word!

Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Saturday, March 26, 2011, Unmi wrote,
Joshua 22:10-12  When they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan. And when the Israelites heard that they had built the altar on the border of Canaan at Geliloth near the Jordan on the Israelite side, the whole assembly of Israel gathered at Shiloh to go to war against them. 
At first when I read this verse, I didn't understand why the the Eastern tribes built an altar in the first place, why build an altar on the western side of the Jordan when their land is on the eastern side of the Jordan?  Even for the Israelites that became upset enough to prepare for war, what exactly about the altar made them so upset? Was it its location, its size, its purpose?
Throughout what we have read so far, it seemed that the Israelites were a very forgetful people.  So often, God had to remind them to REMEMBER! What I find interesting about this entire episode is that the Israelites were angry because they finally DID remember! Not only did they remember the Sin at Peor  in which 24,000 Israelites died (Numbers 25), Archan's sin (Joshua 7) in which 36 Israelites died at the hands of Ai, they even remembered the laws of Moses.  In Deut 12, the Lord instructed that there shall be only ONE place where He will be worshipped, God himself will choose this place once they enter the Promised Land. "Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. Offer them only at the place the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you." (Deut 12:13-14)  The building of the altar in Geliloth was a violation of this law presumably because the Eastern tribes would use this altar to perform sacrifices, after all, that's what an altar is built for. When the Eastern tribes are confronted by Phinehas and the Israelite delegation, they explain that the altar was "not for burnt offerings or sacrifices" (Joshua 22:26) but as "a witness between us and you and the generations that follow, that we will worship the LORD at his sanctuary with our burnt offerings, sacrifices and fellowship offerings. Then in the future your descendants will not be able to say to ours, ‘You have no share in the LORD.’ " (Joshua 22:27) The Israelites were satisfied with the explanation and leave peacefully.
I see a few things we can all learn from this confrontation.
First, don't jump to conclusions: The Israelites assumed that the altar was built for unlawful sacrifices. Sometimes things are not as they appear.
Second, avoid doing things that would cause others to question your Christian character, thereby questioning the character of God. If a weaker member of the faith sees you walking into a place of ill-repute, they will jump to conclusions even if your actions are upright. If the Eastern tribes didn't build the altar in the first place, it would have avoided all this misunderstanding.  Couldn't they have built something different to use as a memorial instead? Even though we have freedom in Christ, we shouldn't use that freedom to cause others to lose faith. Let us constantly look to what builds each other up even if it means sacrificing personal freedom.
Third, there are always two sides to every story!  Many married friends have come to my husband and I after "arguments." It is absolutely amazing how one sided a story can be.  Sometimes I wonder if the stories they tell are purposely one sided to make themselves look good or do people truly not see the big picture.  When people confide in us, we need to be careful how we take it especially when the story involves another person, for every story there is another side.
Fourth, it is better to seek peaceful resolution through discussion. Instead of resorting to gossiping, fighting, backstabbing, It would be better to confront a person with a problem so that misunderstandings can be cleared up.  Let us seek the truth in all things and let us speak the truth in love.
Finally, REMEMBER the Lord, REMEMBER what He has done for us, REMEMBER his precepts for this is what guides us in the way we should go!

Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Friday, March 26, 2010, Yujin wrote,

Sherry wrote...The book of Johua is about obedience.  I never knew how much emphasis was on obedience until I started this Bible study.  Joshua was a brillant military leader but the key to his success was his submission to God.  Joshua's obedience was a model and as a result Israel remainned faithful to God.  Joshua is a good example for us as leaders in our organization.  Our students will model our strenghts and weaknesses. Reading Joshua has helped me make a fresh commitment to obey God.

Yujin comments...Amen, Sherry! From beginning to end the command is to carefully obey God. And Joshua embraced this command from beginning to end. He is a true hero for us all. I would like to think that this arose out of signficant time worshiping God. There is a small verse in Exodus 33:11, where we read, "The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent." We often marvel at the first part and often miss the second. Moses would go into the tent to speak with the LORD. Here we see that when Moses left, Joshua chose to remain. Considering his unfettered obedience to God throughout the whole course of his life, as presented to us in Scripture, perhaps we are given here a little clue as to what made it so. Like Mary in the Gospels, who chose to sit at Jesus' feet, Joshua chose to linger with God. Could there be a message for us as well?

Passage: Joshua 22-24

On Thursday, March 25, 2010, Fernando wrote,
Phinehas is one of my favorite people. He had so much zeal and it was directed by the word of God. I would love to be so confident in knowing I know God's words that I could jump and not have to consider if my action was justified, because I know I know His Word. The last time we see him he slew in a instant the two fornicating before the assembly. Without direction, other than what had already been said by God, he impales the two. Now again he is out, prepared to spill blood again. BUT not without fully knowing the situation! I love this control, this wisdom over his zeal. Instead of returning with a story of cleansing he returns with a greater story that saves the future generations from sin! Masterful.