Nothing Left Undone
Day: 23 | Plan: Joshua-Judges
Today’s Reading: Joshua 23
Joshua 23:14b (NIV) “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
Weaknesses. We all have them. If I had to make a list, mine would include bullet points like comparison, discontentment, Cajun roast coffee and dark chocolate ice cream. Oh, and shopping … that one has messed me up more times than I’d like to admit. What are some of your weaknesses? Surely you’ve got one or two, right?
Joshua knew Israel’s weaknesses. Like holes in a slice of Swiss cheese, their weak spots created numerous open spaces, which they spiritually fell into more than once. And like a good commander, knowing their weaknesses could hurt them, Joshua gathered all the tribal leaders together to give them final instructions and words of encouragement before he died. Joshua impressed upon their hearts the absolute importance to:
- Take possession of the remaining land. (Joshua 23:5)
- Be strong and careful to obey all God instructed in the Book of the Law. (Joshua 23:6)
- Don’t associate with those living in the land or conform to their ways. (Joshua 23:7)
- Cling to the Lord and faithfully love Him. (Joshua 23:8, 11)
I wonder if some of those leaders were thinking to themselves: “Joshua, you’ve already told us this … many times. We know what to do. We’ve got this.”
Although these instructions had been echoed before—by Joshua, Moses and directly from God—the words continued to fall on Israel’s wavering hearts and minds. Their greatest weakness wouldn’t stem from Joshua’s absence as their commander. Their greatest threat wasn’t war or overcoming enemies in the vast unclaimed terrain. Their weakness was their continuous temptation to intermingle with locals, vacillate in their faith and eventually embrace godless living. (Psalm 106:34-39)
As we’ve already learned, faithfulness is extremely important to God and is a recurring theme throughout the book of Joshua. Over and over the Israelites were reminded to remain faithful—just as the Lord had been faithful to them. And it would require just as much disciplined obedience during times of victory and rest as it would during times of opposition and war.
As long as Israel was faithful, God would continue to fight for them, abundantly bless them and give them rest from their surrounding enemies. In fact, Israel already witnessed God’s faithfulness and knew He never failed in keeping all of His promises. (Joshua 23:14)
But they needed to remember God was just as faithful to His Word when it came to judgment against sin if they chose to rebel and pursue a life of idolatry. Sadly, the Israelites continued to test God’s faithfulness, which eventually resulted in His promises (Joshua 23:15-16) coming to fulfillment as Judah was taken into captivity by Babylon, leaving the city of Jerusalem in ruins. (2 Kings 24–25)
Just like the Israelites, we shouldn’t assume that being the recipients of God’s gifts (Matthew 5:45b) makes us immune to His judgment. God’s promises always come to pass—the ones that make us shout for joy and the ones that make us tremble in reverence.
God displays remarkable patience and love for us. He wants us to enjoy His great blessings, which are continuously available as we abide in His presence and follow His instructions.
God strengthens us in our weaknesses and encourages us when our faith begins to waver. He fills in our flaws with His perfection and loves us despite our shortcomings.
Our heavenly Father is fully devoted to His loved ones. So let’s not risk it all by chasing after self-reliance or self-centeredness. There is no earthly pleasure, famous position or high-priced possession that comes close to what God wants to offer you. There is no one who will love you more or vow eternal faithfulness to you like God does.
As our relationship with God grows so will our passion for Him. And that pure passion will distinguish any lusts we might have for what the world offers. Let’s make sure we do everything possible to remain devoted to our Lord and tell others of His faithfulness as we continue walking in the light of His promises.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to be fully devoted to You. I want my thoughts, words and actions to bring honor and glory to You alone. Help me overcome any self-centeredness and keep me from being enticed by the lusts of this world. Fashion my heart to beat only for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
The theme of God’s faithfulness is not only found in the book of Joshua, it’s... Read More
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