Today’s reading for our 90 day journey is Joshua 12 – 24. Let us look back a moment to chapter 10 verses 12-14
You will note that Joshua spoke to the LORD, and gave command for the sun to stand still. Now from a human point of view that would be impossible; but our God is not limited to the possible. He is the God of the impossible. That is, afterall, because He is GOD. This was due to one man whose heart was faithful in calling on the name of the LORD, and believed the GOD of the impossible made it possible. Joshua, by the power of GOD spoke to the sun and moon to stop in their course through the universe, and provide a few more hours to accomplish the work that was before them; and God did it.
The we see a couple of times when there must have been a lack of prayer and faith. When we are not given to the word of God and prayer; faith will be in short supply. The enemy will be most difficult to overcome; and we will find ourselves accommodating them.
“As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.” 15:63
and another time;
“Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.” 17:13
This is tied to the matter of obedience as well. Had they been faithful in prayer, obedience to the commands of the LORD, they would have been faithful to driving out the inhabitants of the land, destroying the evil of the land. In their disobedience they brought trouble into their camps.
There is a lesson here for the children of God today; the Christian, the follower of Christ. Rid your hearts and lives of the evil. Make no compromise with all that is vile and evil in your heart and life. Be swift at the destruction of evil within. Stay in prayer and the Word of God.
The life of Joshua is coming to an end and he offers a challenge to the people he is leading;
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
I know, I know a very familiar verse to every Christian; at least it should be. However, I think I see it a bit differently now after reading it this time. I noticed that Joshua puts the responsibility of their obedience upon their shoulders. I guess I knew that previously, but it seemed more pronounced today. Hear the conversation between Joshua and the people,
“And Joshua said unto the people, ‘Ye cannot serve the LORD: for He is an holy God; He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then He will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that He hath done you good.’ And the people said unto Joshua, ‘Nay; but we will serve the LORD.’ And Joshua said unto the people, ‘Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve Him.’ And they said, ‘We are witnesses.’ ‘Now therefore put away, said he, ‘the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.’” vv. 19-23
God demands that His people be holy. Joshua gave them the truth of God and His Word, and they said we will be responsible. “We are willing to suffer the consequences of our disobedience when we do so”, “We are witnesses” of this.
“So Joshua asked the Israelites, ‘How long will you delay going out to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers gave you?’ ” Joshua 18:3 (CSB)
The life of every Christian is dealing with evil in our individual lives every day. Faith in God, faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ is or should be constantly in our heart, and in the thoughts of our minds. The battle continues. Let us fight it well in submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit, who is Jesus Christ in us; and trusting Him to fight for us for the honor and glory of Christ Jesus. It would be helpful to read Galatians 5; noticing the difference in the works of the flesh, and the fruit of the Spirit.