Text: Joshua 23:1-16
For steadfastness in heart and mind and strength
For grace to be not just hearers but doers of God’s Word
For small towns
JOSHUA TOOK UP the task of leading the people of Israel after the death of Moses. Now an old man, he senses the end of his life is near, and so in his farewell speech he reminds the people that their success has been by God’s hand, so be careful to walk in the ways of God, the ways that Moses handed down.
In warning the Israelites to avoid the habits and ways of the nations around them, Joshua uses a very interesting phrase: they will be a scourge in your sides, thorns in your eyes. The implication of both of these is that stepping off the path of God will mean that very soon the terrain will be so that you will no longer have a choice: like goads in the ribs, like briars on the banks, you will quickly find that you cannot move freely, you cannot change your direction, but can only head where that path goes.
Joshua’s words are no less true in our own day—much of what we take for wisdom, for right living is nothing more than an admission that we “must” go that way, because the goads of reputation, of possible public shaming, of professional advancement and the briars of miseducation, of self-importance and of disdain for others makes the path impossible to leave.
Until Jesus steps in…
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks