Joshua 23

As all good things come upon the believer according to the promise,
so long as we have kept close to God, so all evil things will befall,
according to His threatenings, if we forsake Him.

1 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.

2 And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age:

3 And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.

4 Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward.

5 And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you.

6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;

7 That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:

8 But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.

9 For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.

10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.

11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

12 Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:

13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.

15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.

16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

Joshua 23:1-16 – Joshua’s Farewell Address

   Joshua’s anxiety for the welfare of his people after his death has New Testament parallels. See Acts 20:29; II Peter 1:13-15; and especially John 13-15. As always, he lays stress on what the Lord had done, Joshua 23:3, 5, 9. Not one ray of glory is stolen for himself.
   He argues for their steadfastness on three grounds: There are the promises of Joshua 23:5; the threatenings of Joshua 23:11-13; the exhortations of Joshua 23:14-16. Our failure to drive out the foes of our heart is due to our failure to follow the Lord. A lack of whole-hearted surrender lies at the root of all failure. Cleaving to the Lord is the Old Testament way of saying “abide in me,” John 15.
   In contrast to man’s inconstancy and infidelity, notice the sublime testimony to God’s faithfulness. “Not one thing hath failed,” Joshua 23:14. When at last we review our life, we, too, shall be able to say as much, if only by His grace we are kept faithful and obedient. We cannot keep the old Covenant, but the new stands forever, Jeremiah 31:31. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Joshua 23:11—Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

   Love is the crown of human nature; its regal chaplet of flowers; the bond by which the sentient universe is made one; the trait in which we most nearly resemble God—for God is love. We may love God from four parts of our nature (Luke 10:27). From the heart, the seat of the emotions: from the soul, the seat of individuality or will; in the strength of our activities; and in the mind, the organ of thought and intelligence. Some natures are more prone to one, and others to another. Each is a gate into the metropolis of Love, or by which the love of God may enter us. And it is of small consequence which gate you use, so long as you use one, and in this way enter the city.
   Many people are accustomed to impute love to the heart only, instead of associating it also with other departments of the inner life. Because you have no emotion of love, you therefore conclude that you do not love. But there may be the love of soul, wherein the will crowns Christ as King; or the love of the strength, wherein all the energy of life revolves around Jesus; or the love of the mind, in which all thought is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Choose which you will.
   But we must take heed to ourselves. The love of God will come naturally and easily in us as the fruit of the Spirit, unless we do anything to mar or hinder it. Love begets love; think then how much He loved you, when He gave Himself for you. Take heed to your speech, acts, intentions, volitions, affections; watch as well as pray; keep yourselves in the love of God; love one another and so abide in his love; and in you also the love of God will be perfected. —Our Daily Homily