Old Testament: Joshua 23 & 24
Poetry: Psalm 105
New Testament: Luke 5
Joshua had walked with the LORD for many years. The scripture described him as a very old man when he summoned the Israelites to share some important messages. This was his opportunity to let them know what was really essential, what really mattered. How did he have faith when others faltered? Some of his significant instructions are to “hold fast to the LORD your God” and “be very careful to love the LORD your God”. That is exactly what he did and that is what gave him such a close relationship with God.
He had lived a lifetime of experiences with the LORD. Just imagine him watching Moses enter the tent of Meeting where the pillar of cloud was. Even when Moses returned to the camp, Joshua remained at the tent.
He stood with Caleb and tried to persuade the people that if they would only follow God that the LORD would give them the land. But the camp chose to rebel against the LORD and succumb to the fear and disbelief of the other spies. (The LORD intervened when the people were ready to stone them for their faith.)
Joshua experienced miracle after miracle including the sun stopping in the middle of the sky. Joshua was chosen and commissioned to lead Israel because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly. That is what he wanted from the Israelites. That should be our purpose, too.
He encouraged them to wholeheartedly obey the scriptures. As Joshua 23:6 states, “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left”.
As modern-day Christians, we can follow Joshua’s example. He did what was right, even when he was in the minority. The LORD approved of his decision and in turn, the Lord loved him. Just like Joshua, there are so many examples of others who wholeheartedly lived life with God. We know that the next experiences for them will be the resurrection, all the rewards that come with entering the kingdom of God and eternal life.
Because we know that this awaits the followers of God, we should also give our whole hearts to God. Let us stand with the Lord and say, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
- Consider the life of Joshua – when and how was he faithful to God? When and how was God faithful to him? Now consider your own life – when and how have you been faithful to God? When and how has God been faithful to you?
- Does it work to follow, love, serve, obey the Lord half-heartedly? Why or why not? With how much of your heart do you follow, love, serve, obey the Lord?
- What do we learn about the Lord our God in our Bible reading today? Does that make it easier or harder to serve him wholeheartedly?