Bringing out the best in us
I have allotted to you as your homeland all the land of the nations yet unconquered, as well as the land of those we have already conquered—from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. This land will be yours, for the Lord your God will himself drive out all the people living there now. You will take possession of their land, just as the Lord your God promised you. “So be very careful to follow everything Moses wrote in the Book of Instruction. Do not deviate from it, turning either to the right or to the left. Make sure you do not associate with the other people still remaining in the land. Do not even mention the names of their gods, much less swear by them or serve them or worship them. Rather, cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now. Joshua 23:4-8
As Joshua reviewed how they’ve arrived to where they were, he told them that it was because of God who was with them. It was God who brought them out of Egypt and gave them the land they could call their own. The inheritance they’ve received from God should remind them that their allegiance should belong to God alone. Joshua also reminded them that as long as they continue to be faithful to God, He will fight for them. “This land will be yours, for the Lord your God will himself drive out all the people living there now” (Joshua 23:5). God promised to the Israelites that their devotion to Him will be rewarded. What is this devotion that God requires from His people? What God requires from the text is also what He asks of those that place their trust in Christ as Lord and Savior. First, they have to believe and hold on to His promises. As they hold fast to God and His promises, they should not be overcome with fear no matter how difficult the battle would be. Also, they have to keep and do what is written from His Word. They should focus on what God is asking them to follow and not to deviate from His teachings. No matter how enticing what is being proposed by the enemy, they should be firm in their resolve that they will only submit to God and His Word. They should avoid at all costs the tendency in the past of being involved in idolatry. “Do not even mention the names of their gods, much less swear by them or serve them or worship them” (Joshua 23:7). The only way a Christian would be able to withstand the battle and come out victorious is by clinging “tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now.” From the moment you surrendered your life to Christ, He will help you to be victorious. This is how God makes the best out of us despite our shortcomings.