Joshua 23, Exhortations Of An Old Successful Man
1. Remember All You Have Seen God Do (v1-5)
2. Keep God’s Word Courageously (v6-8)
3. Love God Without Compromise (v9-13)
4. Know The Certainty Of God’s Word (v14-16)
Joshua 23, Exhortations Of An Old Successful Man
Joshua 23, Exhortations Of An Old Successful Man
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Well, as we continue in the Book of Joshua working our way through the Bible in three years, we looked today at Joshua Chapter 23 and I've titled the Message exhortations of an old successful man. Exhortations of an old successful man here in Chapter 23, as well as.
Joshua chapter 24. We have the record of Joshua's final words now, not necessarily his, you know, last breath kind of final words, but he's gathered together the nation for one last teaching for one last.
Sermon and this is his final sermon. This is his final exhortation here, in Chapter 23. He'll be addressing the leaders of the nation and then in Chapter 24.
He'll address the congregation as a whole, and so as an old man, he's got a lot of wisdom.
He's got a lot of experience.
He's got, you know, concepts.
And ideas and advice that is life tested, battle tested and Joshua is one of those guys that really was successful in his relationship with the Lord and faithfulness to the Lord until the very end.
And we see here at the beginning.
It tells us that he is advanced in age.
We'll see in tomorrow's reading in Chapter 24, verse 29, Joshua died being 110 years old.
So that's probably about the age that he was as he's delivering these exhortations. We're looking at tonight in Joshua Chapter 23. He started out as a young man as an assistant.
Coming out of Egypt along with Moses and the rest of the people being in the wilderness.
Seeing the work of God serving faithfully alongside of Moses receiving the baton from Moses and leading the people into the promised land, conquering the promised land, distributing the land, doing all of the things that God had set before him, and called him to.
And now he is old.
He's lived a long full life of faithful service to the Lord.
And you know, that is a remarkable thing.
Joshua was a successful man all the way to the end of his life.
It's not an easy thing to do.
Too, and unfortunately that's not really as common as we might think.
To be successful to the very end of life is something that a lot of leaders fall short in as they come to the closing days.
The later years of their life.
As you walk through the scriptures, how many failed near the end?
Even Joshua's predecessor Moses, right, it was later on after he'd been walking with the Lord for some time, leading Israel for some time that he misrepresented the Lord and struck the rock when God told him to speak to the rock and and it was near the end of his life that he really faltered in his obedience in that way, and it caused there to be some consequences.
In his life as a result now I'm not saying that Joshua was perfect or lived a perfect life or anything like that, but we see the testimony of his life is that he was faithful to the Lord up until the very.
And as we head into the book of Judges, we're going to see a different pattern where the nation is fearful for a little bit, and then they turn away from God, and then they have to get delivered.
And then they are faithful for a little bit, and then they turn away from God that there's this cycle of faithfulness for a little bit, then falling away and then faithfulness, and then falling away.
As we go beyond the judges into the times of the Kings, it's going to be something we'll see over and over again.
There are many kings who start out really well who bring about reform and repentance and revival and bring people back to walking with the Lord, but then towards the end of their lives, these kings fall away even.
Some of the best kings that Israel ever had failed failed failed at the end, or fell away from the Lord towards the end of their life.
But here we have something different.
Joshua successful man all the way to the end of his life.
Faithful man all the way to the end of his life.
And so the exhortations that he gives here.
They've been tested by a long, faithful walk with the Lord.
These exhortations, that he will share, are things that we can take to heart, because he's lived them.
He's walked them, he's done so for a long time.
And so he speaks with much experience.
I know it's easy many times for us to look at those who are older.
Maybe you just think that this happens in your teenage years.
But it's not just in the teenage years where you kind of look at the older generation.
Those who are older, or at least I do.
Maybe it's just a personal thing.
Maybe I'm just confessing my own sins.
Here but but you know you know they don't know that much.
You know when it comes to technology, they don't. They're not up, you know with the technology they don't understand all the in's and outs and.
So you know there's a lot of things that they say that you know they just don't know what they're talking about.
You just kind of OK crap, but you know, that's nice, you know.
Just you just kind of listen and nod and smile but but you don't really take to heart necessarily.
The things that they say 'cause you don't feel like there's that strong connection to right now.
And those things don't necessarily apply right now.
But I would encourage you to consider this evening that Joshua he's 110 years old. But the things that he speaks about are for right now, no matter how old we are or no, no matter where we're at in life, these are timeless truths, exhortations of things that are.
To be relied upon and to be applied to our lives.
And So what are these exhortations?
We'll look at 4 exhortations that Joshua gives here in chapter.
23 of Joshua starting in verses one through 5 for exhortation number one and that is remember all you have seen God do.
The first thing he does is he calls the people to remember everything that they had seen.
Let's look at verses one through 3.
Again, it says now it came to pass a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies.
Round about that Joshua was old, advanced in age.
And Joshua called for all Israel for their elders, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers, and said to them, I am old advanced in age.
You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you for the Lord your God is he who has fought for you.
Here again in verses one and two we see that Joshua is at the end of his life.
He's old, advanced in age.
It tells us in verse one it's a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel, and so we saw.
I think it was back in Chapter 13 when they finished that campaign of conquering the land.
Conquering the major players of the land, taking out the major enemies, the major armies of the Land of Israel.
It says at that time that Joshua was old and advanced in age, but now he's even older and a long time has passed.
They've been in the land for maybe another seven years.
We think you know.
It was another seven years when Joshua called the tribes together and said, hey, there's still a lot of land to be conquered.
You guys aren't taking it yet.
Why don't you get to work?
Go inherit the land that God is given to you.
We talked about that on Sunday.
And so that was maybe seven years after they initially conquered the land.
This seems to be even later than that, and so Joshua here has been in the land for some time that the nation of Israel has begun to settle.
They've begun to occupy the territory, but as Joshua nears the end of his life, he recognizes the end is near and so he calls them together and he says, guys.
I want to share some final exhortations to you.
Some final words to leave you with before I enter into eternity.
In verse three he says you have seen all that the Lord your God has done.
And so here's the message that Joshua wants to impress upon the people.
Remember what you have seen God do?
It's amazing to understand that you know when miracles happen in our lives, they're huge.
When miracles happen in our lives, or God does something great, God works out some amazing thing before us like we're just blown away and every time God works miraculously and supernaturally, it's like, whoa, that's such a a big deal.
And it it's all we could think about, perhaps so it just fills our mind.
It's so huge.
You know, maybe God gives you that right word for the right time and it's like bam, like Oh my goodness it's life changing, life altering and you feel like you know you will never forget.
What it was that God said what it was that God did, and yet what happens after a while, those moments that were so powerful that felt so life changing.
It's amazing how those powerful moments can fade so easily.
You know you can imagine the children of Israel watching the walls of Jericho fall, and they're like, Oh my goodness, God is so big he's so good.
And then later on like Oh yeah.
God did do that miracle in Jericho.
I kind of forgot about that.
You know, that gets in the back of the mind.
It's it's forgotten about, and we've seen Israel do this already.
God has worked miracles in the past and in the wilderness, and they've forgotten already about them.
Joshua says you have seen all that the Lord your God has done.
Don't forget the things you have seen God do.
Don't forget the things that you have seen God work out before you.
All of these nations were.
These were huge battles that you had to fight.
These were impressive enemies the the biggest of the biggest enemies of the land you've already seen.
God conquer them every other battle that you face after this is going to be smaller in comparison.
Of course, it may not feel smaller, but but the point is God's done. Bigger things in the past.
Don't forget what God has done.
All of these nations, the Lord your God has fought for you.
He's fought on your behalf.
You've seen God go to battle.
You've seen God bring about victory and do a great work.
Then he goes on to say in verse 4 see I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain.
Again, he's calling them to see.
Now, not literally necessarily.
I don't know.
Maybe he was showing a map and he's saying, OK, look at the lines guys.
Pay attention here like he's saying.
See, think about recall to mind.
Don't let this kind of just fall into you.
Know the forgotten past.
Before you didn't have an inheritance, you didn't have a place to call home.
What God has done is he has brought us into the land.
Give us given us victory, and then he has divided to you the nations that remain.
This is your inheritance from God, and he describes the boundaries a little bit there from the Jordan and to the Great Sea the Mediterranean Sea.
And what Joshua is saying here is stop and think about make sure that you stir up your memory.
And understand that everything that God promised God has fulfilled.
God promised to bring us into the land and give us victory.
And I want you to stop and think and remember that God brought us into the land and gave us victory.
God promised to divide up the land and give each tribe a portion as their inheritance, and God has done that and I want you to stop and think about how God is provided for you and inheritance.
Remember all you have seen God do.
It really serves as a great exhortation and reminder for us, just like Israel.
We have the same issue that the same potential.
The same tendency to forget the things that God has done in our lives.
It's one of the reasons why God established for the Nation of Israel, the feasts.
The Passover feast, he says, I want you to always remember how I delivered you out of Egypt.
And so we're going to take that date.
We're going to take that anniversary.
We're going to make it a feast, and you're going to celebrate every year.
And it's going to be a requirement that you talk about how God delivered you and brought you out of Egypt and the work that God did in your life.
And so the Passover served that purpose for the nation of Israel.
For us, we don't have the feasts exactly.
We're not required to celebrate the feast.
It's not the same for us as it was for them, but at the same time we can establish our own feasts or celebrations, or anniversary's.
And so I know a lot of people celebrate their spiritual birthday.
I used to not really think too much about that or not really pay much attention to that.
Just kind of like an interesting thing that people do.
But thinking about the Passover and comparing that to hey, when you really came to the Lord and believed in Jesus and your life was transformed, that picture of deliverance out of Egypt, and that picture of deliverance.
Out of the world and into Christ.
Yeah, maybe there's a good parallel there, and maybe you should maybe think about celebrating your spiritual birthday now.
Not everybody has a specific date that they can remember so well.
You know we can't remember the exact date of Jesus birthday anyway, either.
So like we just pick a date and we celebrate on that day, right?
And that becomes a big celebration so.
If you don't remember your spiritual birthday, you know maybe just pick today and make it a day today.
Like every year I just I want to celebrate.
Have a a day to celebrate, to stop and think about.
What God did in my life. You know, for me I always look back to that youth retreat Summit 94 I was 94.
95 is at the end of the year into the New year, December 31st to January 1st, and it was a a youth retreat where God got a hold of my life, filled me with the spirit, ministered to me, changed my life and my life has been.
Radically different ever since that day and so.
Every year I
Not perfectly, but every year I try to stop and reflect and remember and kind of stir up the memories of what God did on those occasions and how God met me and spoke to me this last Sunday as I was giving the teaching, I handed out these inheritance cards, which was an opportunity for you to write down the.
Things that you're praying to God and asking God to fulfill his promises to you and to give you the inheritance that he has said that he would give.
And again, nothing magic about the cards.
I shared that right but, but perhaps it's just a time it's just a day for you to stop and have a an anniversary to refresh your mind so that you remember all that you've seen God do.
And perhaps in the future you'll be able to look back and see the fulfillment of those.
Prayers and those requests.
Maybe there's some dates on the calendar that you need to establish and give some opportunity to.
Think back to the things that God has done.
Again, like your physical birthday, you know you might make a big deal about that.
You might celebrate that.
That might be, you know, everybody around you knows as it's coming up and there's the the leading up to in our house.
A lot of times we like to celebrate birthday month, right?
So we don't just make a day of it.
We make a month of it and and that's great.
No problem, but.
Thinking about the things that God has done in our lives, perhaps we need a.
A spiritual review.
A spiritual celebration at certain points of the year in October of every year.
Think back to and I have reminders in my calendar. October 25th, 2001. That's the D that God spoke to me and told me that I was going to marry Kim and I thought it was strange and it was weird, but I I like to remember that I like to remember that God speaks that way.
I like to remember that that's how it happened and I like to remind her of that.
So when she's frustrated with me I was like hey well.
God told me it's gonna happen. So you know, sorry that's God's plan, you're stuck.
To me, but I like to Remember Remember that that God speaks that way and works that way.
I I like to remember in me that it was in May.
Of course that we got married, but along with that it was in May of 2004 when I began pastoring here at living water and I like to remember that in July of 2004.
'cause when Pastor Tom and his family moved to Okinawa and so they were officially gone and so there was a couple months where you know he was there with us while I began to pass her.
But then he was gone.
He was in Okinawa and and I like to remember how God ministered and spoke and worked and LED in all of that.
I have reminders on my phone every day I get reminders at different times throughout the day for different things that God has spoken to me at.
Different times to to help.
Keep in my memory those things that God has said.
And those are just some examples, again, from my personal experience, not necessarily the law or that you have to do it this way or my way, but just to hopefully stir up some ideas for you to make a point.
Set up your celebrations, set up your schedule, set up your calendars, set up your reminder.
You set up your, you know pillars.
Your Ebenezer stones.
I don't know but but to set up things in your life that you can have an opportunity to remember all that you've seen God do.
Joshua says you've seen all these things stop and think about.
See how the land is divided.
God did that.
It's the fulfillment of God.
He goes on in verse five and says the Lord will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight.
So you shall possess their land as the Lord your God promised you.
Remembering what God has already done helps us to trust him for the things that God is said he will do.
There's still some things, although many of God's promises have been fulfilled. There's a lot of things that have yet to be fulfilled, and so remembering all of the things that God has done is a great strength.
For us in trusting God for the things that are yet to happen, and so God has, you know, done all of this work, and giving us victory and verse.
Five God will expel them.
The rest of the inhabitants of the land from before you.
It's similar to David when he was talking with Saul, and Goliath was taunting the Army of Israel.
David said, you know, God helped me with a lion.
God helped me with a bear.
And God is going to help me defeat Goliath.
I can stop and remember what God has already done.
I can stop and remember what I've seen God do in other situations and that helps me now to trust God for the current situation and David was facing Goliath from that foundation of the memories of what God has done.
This is the first exhortation from Joshua.
Remember all you have seen God do.
It's wise for us to take heed because Joshua was a successful man all the way to the.
End of his life.
And he didn't forget the things that God had done.
He didn't forget and lose sight of how much the position where they were was a product of God.
Goodness and faithfulness to his promises.
You know, many times issues in our lives arise and pop up because we get to the fulfillment of those promises and then living in the blessing of the promises and the work of God.
We forget that it was God who got us there and we began to think that it was us who got us.
There we begin to take credit not immediately, but over time.
We just kind of forget.
The miraculous things that God had done, how much it is God goodness and grace in our lives, that we have the things that we have right now.
We're moving onto versus 6 through 8. We get the second exhortation for us to consider this evening. Here's point, #2.
Keep God's word courageously, and so. Here's the second exhortation from an old, successful man if you want to reach 110 years old and have a successful life like Joshua had, he says here's what she got.
I do keep God's word courageously versus 6 through 8 says this. Therefore, be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left.
Unless you go among these nations, these who remain among you, you shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them.
You shall not serve them nor bow down to them, but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.
Here, as Joshua continues on, he says therefore.
Again, he's building this on the foundation of what God has already done.
He's saying, look, remember what God has done for you.
God has done so much for you.
He's been so faithful, therefore be very courageous.
Be very courageous.
He's saying we might turn away from God because of forgetfulness.
If we don't remember if we don't stop and see what God has already done.
But we also need to watch out and be alert that we might turn away from God.
Because of fear.
Because of conformity to the world around us.
There's going to be a need for us to hold the course and to be faithful to do what God says in his word.
Again, verse 6 be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the Law of Moses.
Now again Joshua speaks here as a man from experience.
He is an old man now.
He's been successful all the way to the end because God told him at the beginning.
This was the key to success.
You might remember this Joshua chapter one, verse 8 and 9.
Very early as Joshua is now just taking the reins from Moses and leaving the children of Israel.
God appears to Joshua and says this book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.
For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage.
Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
There's some really strong parallels.
To this word that God gave to Joshua here at the beginning of his leadership in Joshua chapter one.
To the exhortation that now he passes on to the other leaders of Israel. Here in Joshua. Chapter 23.
There's the exhortation to have courage to be courageous, and there's the exhortation to keep and to do all that is written.
In the book of the Law of Moses.
He is to hold fast to the word and God said, look, if you do this notice at the end of verse 8 then you will be prosperous and you will have good success at the end of Joshua's life. He was prosperous and had good success.
Joshua kept God's word courageously for his whole life.
And so now he turns and he looks at the next generation and he says, guys, here's what you gotta do.
This is what God told me at the beginning.
A key to your prosperity and success as well.
To keep and to do all that is written.
In God's word.
He looks at the generation.
The next generation gives them this exhortation.
He looks at you and he gives us this exhortation.
This is what worked for me.
This is what God told me.
It will work in your life also.
The apostle Paul tells us in Second Timothy Chapter 3.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The word of God is designed by God.
To meet our needs.
And our needs vary from time to time.
Sometimes our needs are more doctrinal.
We need to have a better understanding of God and the way that God works and who God is and the things that God says.
Sometimes our need is reproof.
We're off track.
We're going in the wrong direction.
We need to be turned around and and set straight.
And so sometimes we need reproof or correction.
And sometimes we need instruction.
In righteousness we need help going the right way, choosing the right path, doing what is right.
The word of God is profitable helps us in all of these things.
So that we're complete that we have everything that we need for every good work, Paul says.
In other words.
Keep the word of God.
In it you will have prosperity in it you will have good success. The word of God is God's gift to us to help us for everything that we encounter in life.
It's God's gift to us to help us to know God, to walk with God, to hear from God.
But also to face life and to deal with the situations that we are wrestling through and struggling with.
There's challenges and ups and downs.
And so, keeping God's word courageously will enable us.
To reach 110 years old and have that testimony of success like Joshua did, Joshua had battles. He had failures and recoveries from those failures.
But he had success overall because he courageously kept the word of God.
Now this is attached to a warning in verse seven and eight.
He says, lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you, you shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear.
By then you shall not.
Serve them, nor bow down to them.
The alternative to courageously keeping the word of God is embracing and mingling the gods of the people around them.
And so he says, look, there's going to be this.
To begin to worship their gods.
To begin to make mention of their gods to kind of work their gods into your lifestyle into your belief system, into the way that you live, there's going to be kind of this migration that happens of their gods into your life. If you don't hold the line and keep God's word courageously.
And so he says, but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God.
This is going to have to take some deliberate effort.
You're going to have to make a choice to hold fast, to not give in.
End to the tides.
The waves that continue to pound the the ideas and the concepts that continue to try to work their way in and and implant themselves in your.
Mind and in your heart.
Pastor Warren Rasby says all of us feel the pressures of the world around us trying to force us to conform.
And it takes courage to defy the crowd and stay true.
To the Lord.
Joshua's exhortation keep God's word courageously.
God's word is.
Going to be radically different.
Then the word of the world around us.
Then the ideas and the concepts, the thoughts, the beliefs.
The world around us has different views. Remember, I've been sharing over the past couple weeks that God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Subsize the heavens are above the earth. Isaiah Chapter 55 talks about.
Because God's thoughts are so different.
God's word to us is going to require courage to keep it because the world around us is going to look at that and say.
What's wrong with you?
Why would you keep that?
Why would you hold faster that that doesn't make sense?
Just as we hear God's word many times and we go, I don't know. This doesn't make sense, right?
Well, now it's not just us wrestling with our own logic and understanding whether or not we're going to obey God's word, but there's also going to be this pressure from the world around us.
Peer pressure is not just something that we experience in junior high right.
It's something that impacts us.
For our life, the world around us is attempting.
To get us to buy into messages to concepts to ideas that are contrary to God's word.
And it is going to require real courage.
We're going to have to be willing to not conform to hold back to hold the line and say no, this is what God says.
This is the truth.
Sometimes that happens, you know, in a very secular versus religious type thing, but we also see and understand that even sometimes within what is labeled Christianity, there's a compromising of the word.
And there's a lot of pressure within Christian circles to adopt things that are contrary to God's word, and so there needs to be the the courage.
Where we stand up and we say this.
Is what God says, and I'm holding fast to that.
Joshua was a successful man all the way to the end of his life.
It's not an easy thing to do.
He had to trust God.
He had to believe God.
He had to hold the line when people around him wanted to compromise the word of God and the things that God had said.
He had to say no and stayed true to the truth that God had revealed. It's going to be the same for us. Keep God's word courageously.
Take courage, the things that are recorded here for us in the scriptures are the truth.
The word of God is reliable.
It is reliable enough that we can build our eternity upon it.
We can build our life upon it.
We can trust in the word of God completely and without reservation or hesitation.
Now, if that's not your standing when you think about the Bible and the Scriptures, if that's you don't have that kind of confidence in it, then I would suggest to you that's priority number one.
There is plenty of opportunity for you to come to this understanding about the scriptures.
You can find out for yourself and see for yourself the validity of the truth.
Of the reliability of the scriptures being the accurate records of what were initially written by inspiration of God through these men of God over the past thousands of years.
And so there's great opportunity to do that.
If you need help with that.
We'd be happy to point you in the right direction to to to research that on your own to come to this confidence in this understanding.
This is the word of God, and we can keep it courageously, well, moving on to verses 9 through 13 we get point #3 exhortation, #3 from Joshua, Love God without compromise.
Keep the word of God courageously and now love God without compromise in your relationship with him.
Here's what it says.
Verses 9 through 13 for the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations.
But As for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day.
When men of you shall chase 1000 for the Lord your God, as he who fights for you as he promised you.
Therefore, take careful heed to yourselves that you love the Lord your God, or else, if indeed you do, go back and clean to the remnant of these nations, these that remain among you and make marriages with them, and go into them and they to you.
No, for certain.
That the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you, but they shall be snares and traps to you and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
As Joshua continues on.
He says guys, not only do you need to keep God's word courageously, but you need to hold fast to your love for God.
And you need to make sure that you don't compromise in your love for God. Now again he starts out saying, remember what God's already done in verse 9, the Lord has driven out from among you.
Or from before you great and strong nations.
No one has been able to stand against you.
This is something he's saying over and over and over again throughout this exhortation to the elders.
Think about remember the things that God has done.
God has been faithful to his word.
He's been faithful to his promises.
And it's important.
As he says this because if I don't remember that it's God who has done these things in my life, then I'll begin to think that I did those things in my life.
And I'll begin to take the credit and rests upon my ideas and my strength and my wisdom instead of God and his promises.
God is the one who's brought you this far and he says God promises to keep doing that.
Couple Sundays ago we talked about our inheritance being victory that God is promising victory, or maybe as a Wednesday.
I don't know one of those teachings in Joshua.
They all get muddled together in my head.
But our inheritance from God is victory were promised, and we're guaranteed victory as we walk with the Lord that that all things will work together for good.
That that there is going to be victory in our lives no matter what we face.
He says in verse 10, one of you shall chase 1000.
Now you could just kind of take that as a poetic thing, like, oh, that's kind of interesting, you know, like you know, a nice picture.
A good way to illustrate that, right?
But as you continue to walk through Israel history.
You'll see actual occasions.
Where one man will chase thousands, you think about Gideon and the Midianites where they face in a numerable multitude, but there was only 300 soldiers with Gideon to fight this battle.
And God caused one man of those 300. You know each one of those 300.
To chase thousands.
Truth to this, it wasn't just a.
God promises look, I'm going to be with you to such a degree.
One of you can chase 1000 'cause I'm the one who fights for you.
This is God's promise to you, Joshua says.
And with that in mind, because that's the case.
Verse 11 therefore, take careful heed to yourselves that you love the Lord your God.
God has done this already.
He's promised to keep on doing this kind of work and giving you this kind of victory so therefore.
You need to take careful heed to yourselves.
God's not going to waver in his promises. He's not going to change his mind or change course.
This is what he's promised and you can trust that because he's fulfilled that previously.
As you remember what he's done in the past, you can count on him to continue to be faithful to his word.
So that's not going to change, but you know what might change.
Your path, your mind.
You might change.
And it might cause you to miss out on the victory that God wants to bring.
You might change and it will may cause you to miss out on the the work that God wants to do in your life.
Again, if I don't remember what God has done and hold fast to that, I'll begin to think that I did it.
And so we need to take heed to ourselves, he says, take careful heed to yourselves.
Now if you listen to the examples that I gave a little bit ago, the different things on my calendar, the different you know daily reminders, giving you a little snippet of how I remember things.
Anything boy that's kind of, you know, silly.
I don't know why you have to have so many reminders.
This is one of the reasons why I give myself these kinds of reminders.
'cause God says, take careful.
Like we need to build in, we need to to grasp onto this idea and understand that we forget easily that we stray that we wonder.
The reality is I am my worst enemy, my greatest enemy, my greatest threat.
Even the enemy is not the greatest threat to me.
It's it's my own heart and and I need to.
Take careful heed to myself.
To make sure to give myself many opportunities to catch when I'm going astray, to catch when my heart is getting turned away from the Lord.
When I am not loving the Lord.
The way that I need to and what is the way that we need to though, though, would Jesus taught us to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength?
Love your God first, most above everything else, and before everything else.
Take careful heed to yourself.
That you love God.
Remember what God has done and got his promise to keep on doing that same kind of thing.
That's not going to change, but you might change.
And so we need to take heed to ourselves.
And set up opportunities.
To examine our hearts, Paul tells us in Second Corinthians chapter 13, verse five, examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.
Test yourselves, do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, unless indeed you are disqualified?
There's that appropriate examination that test.
Of our hearts of our motives of our mind of our.
Are we where we need to be in our relationship with the Lord?
We need to be examining our love for the Lord your God.
Now when you think about love it's like OK, how do you examine that?
Pull out a magnifying glass and how do I examine love?
I, I think this is going to look a little bit differently for each of us, in that there's different things that we struggle with, and different ways that we will need to examine our own selves and so learning.
Allowing the world to teach us about ourselves is an important part of this, but.
A couple of things that we can consider.
I would say examine your priorities.
You know a lot of times.
We would say that God is first priority.
But we can also look at our schedules.
We can look at our history and I would encourage you to think about like this week.
A lot of times we talk about the priority of God.
We talk about our love for the Lord.
We talk about those things, kind of in idealistic ways.
Without attaching them to actual events in history and actual things that are happening in our lives, and so he have got his first priority in your life.
How is that demonstrated this week?
And I would encourage you to think about your priorities.
Think about what are the priorities that God has set for you.
And don't just think about them in abstract.
Don't just think about them in.
You know as like theoretical things that exist, you know out there in in some place but but without any attachment to what you're actually going through right now, there's a lot of times where we.
Would testify they got us first in our lives and we we genuinely mean it but but it's like.
We're really speaking about what we hope to get to in the future.
At some point one day, you know, like in an ideal world, this is how I would prioritize God in my life.
But but right now you know I've got a job and kids and schedules, and you know things to do and events happening in my life.
And so you know God, not really first.
In my life.
And so sometimes when we examine.
More close to home, our actual schedule or actual time, our actual practices and habits.
We might find that.
Our priorities don't match with the priorities that God would establish for us or would declare it for us.
Take careful heed to yourselves.
Measure your commitment.
Again, how do you measure commitment when you pull out a scale and then you weigh it?
Well, how do you weigh your commitment right?
It's going to be different a little bit for each of us, but I would encourage you to think about that.
What is it that God wants you to be committed to?
This is related to priorities, but maybe it's.
Helps you think about it a little bit differently.
What does it take for you to break your commitments?
How much does it take to?
To get you to veer off from something that you've committed to the Lord where the Lord said something and you were like, OK, I'm going this path I'm going this direction God leading me in this direction.
Oh, there's a speed bump OK, never mind, I'm going a different direction.
What like what level of resistance does it require?
For you to cast aside something that God said to you.
Measure your level of commitment.
Examine your priorities.
Or you can measure your passion.
You always say if there's ever a time in your life where you were more passionate about God than your back sliding.
Then you're not loving God without compromise you have.
In your love for God in your relationship with God.
Again, these are not perfect measurements and you know exact systems for us to use, but hopefully these give you a little bit of idea of how you can begin to take careful heed to yourself.
Do some self evaluation.
Do some self examination again.
As Paul says, examine yourself.
Maybe you need to schedule some time.
Maybe you need to get away from things for a little bit.
Turn off devices or or some other thing but.
Allow for that opportunity to take heed to yourself to examine where you're at in your relationship with the Lord.
Notice as we go on in verse 12.
He says, or else.
And just to point out here, some promises of God are unconditional in that God will fulfill them.
He will complete them no matter what we do.
But there's also many promises of God that are conditional that are based upon our obedience.
And here God is saying through Joshua look, I've done all of this victory for you. I've accomplished so many things and I'm going to continue to give you victory. And one of you shall chase 1000.
But it's conditional.
That you continue to love the Lord your God.
And if you don't, if you veer off and you begin to.
Compromise, you begin.
To have your passion distributed, amongst other things that belongs that doesn't belong to the Lord, or is are not of the Lord then.
It says then things are going to change verse 12 or else if indeed you do go back and cling to the remnants of these nations, these that remain among you and make marriages with them and go in by them.
And they do, you know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you?
Just a few moments ago, one of you shall Chase 1000 and that that's not going to change unless you change.
And God says, look, if you change and you're not walking with me anymore.
And I'm not first in your life and I'm not your your passion and your priority.
If you're not really committed to me.
You're not going to be able to drive out the nations any longer.
Victory is not guaranteed any longer if you start to intermarry with them.
You start to make agreements with them.
You start to build relationships with them now.
Don't mistake this and understand it to say like that means we're all to be monks and to be, you know, have no friends that are outside of church and you know that kind of thing like that.
That's not what God is saying here.
What God is saying here is that that these people in their lives.
They're going to start to make marriages which are not just romantic relationships, but they're making agreements with the world around them, not calling the world around them to repentance and to the Lord, and to the things of God.
But they're saying, hey, look, we can take a little bit of what you believe and a little bit of what I believe and bring them together.
We can we can make this work.
We can compromise in ways that we can coexist and and and it's bringing into their home.
The things of the world and not calling there be.
Any repentance or change are turning from those things.
And so he goes on in verse 13 to say look, these things are going to be a snare to you, a trap, a scourge.
And if you continue down that path, he says you will perish.
From this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
You keep going down that path.
It'll be more and more painful, more and more difficult, more and more challenging to the point that finally you won't even inhabit this land.
Right now we're celebrating the division of the land and how God is given it and provided for it.
It's so amazing.
But if you continue down a path of not putting God first, not loving God, then you will find yourself in a place where you're not even in that land anymore.
Because you've allowed those other things to take.
In your life.
Alan Redpath, the pastor and commentator, says how often we see that the temptation, we have pampered and encouraged and indulgent has become a scourge and a thorn in our side.
The compromising Christian is not a happy man.
But the enemy remain in a Christian life.
Let him have one foothold, and he soon becomes a scourge.
Here Joshua gives this exhortation with a great warning.
Love God without compromise and if you begin to compromise those compromises.
They might seem OK at the moment they might feel good at the moment, they might.
Not be so difficult at the moment, but those things would become thorns and scourges.
Parts of your life.
So Joshua says, watch out for that. Take careful, he do yourself that you love God without compromise. Well, the final exhortation found in verses 14 through 16. Here's point. #4 know the certainty of God's word.
Know the certainty of God's word. Don't forget this. He says he needs to have this understanding and and to keep this in mind. Verse 14 says, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth.
And you know, in all your hearts and in all your souls.
That not one thing has failed of all the good things which the larger God spoke concerning you.
All have come to pass for you.
Not one word of them.
Joshua says listen guys, you know you know this to be true.
You know, in your hearts and in your souls.
He's calling them to, again, self reflect.
To think about what they really know.
And to make sure that they know that they know that they know, right, that that there's this real clarity here.
There's no ambiguity here.
Pastor David Guzik says it this way Joshua requires that every man probe deep within and see if there is ever a time in his life.
Where he could rightly accuse God of unfaithfulness.
In your heart that God is faithful.
You know you might wrestle with things, you might have doubts and struggles about certain events and situations in your life, but Joshua says, like deep down with it in your hearts and in your souls, you know that not one thing has failed of all that God said.
It's all come to pass.
You know that God is faithful.
You know this.
You might try to deny it.
You might not face a lot loud.
But in your heart, in your soul you know that God is true.
God is faithful.
And because of that he goes on in verse 15 to say therefore.
It shall come to pass.
That is all the good things have come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you.
So the Lord will bring upon you all harmful things until he has destroyed you from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
So he says, you know, and you know you know, that God has been faithful and has kept his word and done everything that he said.
Now hold that thought.
Because you also need to then transfer that to you.
Now if I begin to walk away from God.
I need to not be confused or deceived with the idea that my life will continue.
This blessed from all the victories and things that God has accomplished for me, that I'm just going to be able to continue on now and I can live.
However, I want to and enjoy this life that God has blessed.
He says no look you OK.
You know God has been faithful.
You know God has done everything that he said.
He has been faithful to his word, and so now you need to apply that to the other side, and you need to understand the consequences for disregarding what God said as you go forward.
That if you now begin to disregard God, if you now begin to wander from God to not love God, to not courageously keep God's word, you need to understand all the things that God said about.
The damage of disobedience.
Those things are just as faithful as the promises of.
Good in your life.
The the promises of good that God will do the victories that he will give the work that he wants to accomplish.
As you walk with him, those those are awesome promises, right?
We talk about this promise all the time.
God works all things together for good to those who love God and are the called according to his purpose.
That's a great promise and we can hold onto that promise.
Absolutely have great confidence in that, but also understand that in that promise itself is the condition.
The condition is to those who love God.
Now listen, if you don't love God, that promise is not for you and and you can count on that promise not being fulfilled.
You can count on.
No, no, not everything works out for good.
In fact, some things are going to be great.
Bring great damage and great destruction.
When you're not in that place of loving God when you're not.
Seeking out the things of God.
You need to understand.
God is faithful to his word on both sides.
The good promises that he gives as well as the warnings against the things.
That are against God.
The things that are not good.
Paul warns us about this as well in Galatians chapter six, he says, do not be deceived.
Now it's always an important thing to know, why would he say do not be deceived.
There is a great temptation, a great danger for you and I to be deceived in this area and to believe all the good promises of God and ignore all the warnings of God.
And Paul says, don't be deceived about this guys.
You need to know that justice got his feet full in the good things that he's promised he is faithful.
To show you why he warned you against the things that he warned you against, do not be deceived.
God is not mocked for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
He whose shows to his flesh, will of the flesh reap corruption, but he was suppose to the spirit will of the spirit reap everlasting life.
Again, if I don't remember that it was God who brought me to this place.
If I don't remember that it was God who did this work in my life, I might begin to take credit and to begin to live in a way that is contrary to God.
Deceived thinking that there won't be consequences.
I can live, however I want to live.
I can go forward, however I want to go forward.
And God says, listen, that's a dangerous course.
If you stay on that course, you're going to.
Remove from your life all the good promises and all the good blessings that God has provided thus far.
Don't be deceived.
Don't be confused about this.
God is just as faithful.
To bring judgment and discipline.
For disobedience as he is.
To bring the blessings and the promises and the victories that he has declared, he would bring verse 16 when you have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and you have gone and served other gods, and bowed down to them.
Then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which he has given you.
And here this verse accurately describes Israel's history as you head into the time of judges. The cycle of rebellion, deliverance or value, and deliverance. You see this happen over and over again.
Later on with the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, you see Israel rebel against God. Disregard what God says, they forgot the certainty of God's word. They thought they could disobey and live how they wanted to and get away with it and still experience God goodness and his blessings and the promised land that had been given to them.
They said we have the temple.
We have Jerusalem.
Will never be conquered.
But as they disregarded what God said, they learned God was faithful to his word.
And so here Joshua, as an old man gives us some.
Important exhortations. He's seen a lot in his 110 years. He's had success because he followed the things of the Lord.
He says here's some tips to help you experience a successful life. A full and vibrant life. Remember, all that you've seen God do keep what God's word courageously love God?
And know the certainty. Don't forget, don't be confused or deceived. The certainty of God's word to bless, to fulfill his promises, but also to discipline.
When we turn against him, let's pray, Lord, we pray that you would help us to learn these lessons to receive these exhortations.
And I pray God that.
He would fill our lives and our schedules and ardeas with many opportunities.
To check in to catch Lord when we are wandering much like Israel did help us Lord Toasty.
And a close and real relationship with you with you as our passion with you as our priority.
Where we are committed to you, courageously Lord, willing to be bold in trusting what you have said in walking in obedience to your word.
Help us guide to do this for a long time that we might be prosperous and successful.
Just as you promised, we pray this in Jesus name.