Read Joshua 22 -- 24
In Today's Reading:
The battle is over -- the victory's been won -- let's go home! Oops! Does it matter where or how we worship God? Wars have been started over this question. The book ends with the wise counsel of Joshua, a 110-year-old man who challenges the people: Choose this day whom you will serve. Then he boldly declares: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
Verse for Today:
Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem . . . and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said. . . . fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth. . . . And the people said to Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice we will obey. . . . And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua (Joshua 24:1).
Two and one-half tribes return home east of the Jordan and establish an altar there; civil war averted; Joshua proclaims a final reminder of the goodness of God and a warning of the anger of the Lord (Joshua 23:16) upon disobedience; Joshua's death.
What a joy it must have been for Joshua to have the honor of reminding the nation of Israel of all the mercies of God from the time He brought them out of Egypt to the time He led them into the Promised Land.
Seven times he referred to the idolatrous nations still remaining in Canaan. He knew Israel would be tempted to follow their evil ways, so he appealed to the Israelites to be . . . very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, that you turn not aside . . . to the right hand or to the left; That you come not among these nations . . . that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods . . . neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them (Joshua 23:6-7). Joshua declared his love and loyalty to God when he said: Choose this day whom you will serve . . . as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Many Christians who have been tempted to "choose" to compromise their convictions have been greatly strengthened by Joshua's declaration.
Genuine Christian happiness comes through choosing to serve the Lord. This is why we daily read through the Bible. This strengthens our relationship with Jesus, enabling the indwelling Holy Spirit to influence our attitudes and thoughts.
We can choose obedience to His Word and be content, regardless of our circumstances or lack of physical comforts. We can be content because we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword. . . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (Romans 8:16-17)
A Thought from Proverbs: There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief (12:21).
By the stone which Joshua set up as a witness to the Law of God (Joshua 24:26-27). Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20). Jesus said: Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17).
22:10 to see to = for all to see (see 22:7); 22:29 meat offerings = cereal or grain offerings made with fine flour (or unleavened bread), oil, and a portion of incense; 23:1 waxed old = grew old; 23:8 cleave = remain faithful; 24:7 covered = drowned.
Government Official: Rep. James Matheson (UT) · Pray for the President · Country: Vietnam (77 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Vietnamese and French · Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter · 65% Buddhist and Buddhist sects; 7% Roman Catholic; 4% belief in evil spirits and ancestor worship; .4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks and praise to the Lord (Psalms 92:1).
Optional Reading: John 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:15