Keep the Faith
Text: Joshua 23:1-16
The background of this passage is the farewell message that Joshua delivers to the Israelite nation. He is well advanced in years and his death is certain, as they say, “a young person may die, but an old person must die!” Joshua hopes that his words will motivate the nation to greater growth in their knowledge of God.
He wants them to-
- Keep the Commandment
- The main command here is to obey
- The lack of obedience will be depicted by the forsaking of God’s basic command of not mixing with the world around.
- Simply be separate and operate from a different set of laws.
- Do not talk like the world talks, do not dress like the world dresses, do not behave as the world behaves.
- “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”2 Corinthians 6:17-18 ESV
- The first step toward waywardness is the transformation of the mind
- Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
- Romans 12:2 ESV
- Be different.
2. Keep the Communion
- The main command here is to Love
- They were to cultivate a deep relationship with God.
- People who learn to behave as the world does soon love just as the world does. Their passion changes, they begin to see the world differently and change their pursuit.
- Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” “Matthew 6:19-21 ESV
3. Keep the Covenant
- The main command here is to Commit
- Joshua pleads with the Israelites to remember who they are. That they are the elect of God. The chosen nation. This should keep them deliberately on a commitment path, so as to be an example.
- Perhaps the deepest level of commitment to Christ is when you follow Him as a lifestyle. When it becomes second nature to pray about stuff or to quote scripture. When discussions have to do with the word of God. When God’s work becomes your work.
- “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honourable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
- 1 Peter 2:9-12 ESV