Savior King, forgive me for the ways I displease You and give me grace to start afresh today. Thank You for a new day.
Read Joshua 23:12–16
12 “But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, 13 then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.
14 “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. 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. 15 But just as all the good things the Lord your God has promised you have come to you, so he will bring on you all the evil things he has threatened, until the Lord your God has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. 16 If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow often do you confess your sins to Christ?
Compromise and inclusion are the order of the day in many western secular nations. Be distinctive, but not too much. Celebrate diversity, but within limits!
Joshua’s message to Israel’s leaders is a stark contrast. He warns them of the danger of intermarriage with those living in the land (12). Such an association will trip you up and ensnare you (13). Violate God’s covenant and, like your enemies, you will perish from the land He has gifted you (16).
Here we see a less familiar side of God. Yes, He is faithful in His promises to bring good (14). Yet He is willing to bring evil on those who compromise their faith (15). He is faithful in both grace and judgment.
Here is a challenge for today. New Testament writing reiterates the call, particularly for church leaders, to be holy and not conform to the pattern of the world (Romans 12:2). As one writer says: ‘An Israel – or a church today – that loses its distinctiveness loses its claim to be the people of God’ (David G Firth, The Message of Joshua, Bible Speaks Today series, IVP, 2015, p213).
Jesus describes His disciples as salt and light (Matthew 5:13–16): distinctive in character, conveying God’s truth. What might this look like in your life this week? What might you need to change?
Jesus, I want to shine Your light to all around me. Show me how to be like You in all that I am and in all that I do.