An Old Man’s Advice
“Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God.” Joshua 23:11 (ESV)
Since this New Year as started I have heard some slam dunk preachin’! If it wasn’t Dr. Bob Alderman reminding me that I need to set heart by seeking the LORD it was Pastor Mike Weigel from Ocean County Baptist Church with his encouraging sermon from Joshua 23. These older brothers have made a Godly impression on my young heart (I’m 51…just for the record) with just the basics. Ya know sometimes the gears of a Christian man’s life change and we can get discouraged when the uncertainty of how things will work out arise in us. It is in those moments where having the life of Joshua to look to that can give us the uplift we need to keep on moving…forward!
There is a lot of what we could call “an old man’s advice” to glean from the 23rd chapter of Joshua. By verse 3 we are assured that we can rest in the confidence of knowing that “you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the LORD your God who has fought for you.” I don’t know about you brother, but as for me and my house we have seen what the LORD has done mightily in our lives. It started after I admitted that on my own I could do no good thing almost eleven years ago. Since then, even with its ups and downs, I’ll take the life the LORD has provided me with, over what I thought was living. (Living like a Rock-Star isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, by the way)
When we arrive at verse 6 we come at the very center of the matter. “Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left.” I like how John Gill put in his commentary on Joshua when he penned, “To observe which required spiritual strength, fortitude of mind, a holy courage, a firm and fixed resolution” We live in times that have become increasingly unstable in its ways. It seems as if the world changes the rules to accommodate the everyday changing of minds so that it can be comfortable with the notion that it really doesn’t know what it’s doing at any given time.
As Pastor Weigel got to verses 8-11 he got all fired up. Reminding all of us in attendance to cling to the LORD as verse 8 instructs, for when we do He will drive out those strongholds that stand in our way. This even means those people who don’t believe that we can be saved to do His good purpose. Because it is the LORD’s desire that everyone should be saved and that none should perish. And just so we understand this we are reminded of His promise to do so in verse 10, “since it is the LORD your God who fights for you” as long as we “Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God.”
But this all comes with a warning and a consequence for not taking heed. In verse 12-13 we are warned not to go back to what was behind us because by doing so the LORD will not drive anything, anywhere and our freedom in Him is lost. Pastor Weigel said, “Burn the bridges behind you!” Never heard that advice before but the way last year went it just may not be a bad idea. The very beginning of the book of Joshua is an action of moving forward. Moses is dead now, Joshua has to move on, take people with him and the LORD promised to be with him if he pressed on. At the end of the day, the LORD stayed true and so did Joshua. If that went well with both of them thousands of years ago, why can’t it be true for today, Amen? – Chris Hughes graduated from the Colony of Mercy and is a weekly Freedom Fighter blogger
Quote of the day: “Joshua wanted to ensure that his people would continue following the LORD wholeheartedly after his death. So he wove an incontrovertible argument for his GOD by recalling numerous instances of His goodness to Israel in the past, ending it with a personal exhortation to “chose for yourselves whom you will serve.”—Bruce Wilkinson
Verse to Memorize: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9