Life is full of choices, what career will I take? What kind of person should I marry? Where should I live? Etc. God has challenged men to choose as well, Deuteronomy 30:19 / Joshua 24:15 / 1 Kings 18:21 / Philippians 3:2-14. Mary was commended by the Lord because she had ‘chosen the good part’, Luke 10:42.
Joshua had one last great message for his people. The people were at rest but Joshua was getting old but despite his age, he had something else he had to say, Choose!
If you could leave just one message behind, what would it be? Would it tell of your accomplishments? Would it tell how to spend the money you would leave behind? Would it tell which people to get revenge on for the way they had treated you? Or would it tell of the need to be sure to choose to serve God?
Joshua 23 begins by explaining what God has done, He has fought against the nations, it would be easy for them to sit back and boast about the battles ‘they won’. There was only one problem with that, they hadn’t done it. Israel needed to remember Who had been out there fighting for them, 1 Corinthians 10:12 / Proverbs 16:18. God had promised His people a land and now they had it and basically, God divided it out.
But not only that but God dispossessed the nations around, He would thrust them out and they would no longer possess the land.
Joshua again reminds them of the blessings they have received at God’s hands, great nations have been driven out from before them and no one has been able to stand before them. 1 Israelite put to flight 1,000 Canaanites, God has fought for them.
Joshua then goes on and tells them some things to do, this is similar to the commands Joshua gave to the 2 ½ tribes. Here Joshua tells them 3 things to do, keep all that is written in the law, cling to the Lord and love the Lord.
And so, Joshua then goes ahead and tells them some things they are not to do, don’t turn from God’s law to the right or to the left, don’t associate with the nations among them and don’t have any use for their gods.
Unfortunately, too many people today are not taught that they must face the consequences of their behaviour, whether they steal, or if they are unfaithful or even if parents don’t discipline their children, there can be consequences.
If there is one thing that is taught in the Bible, it is that men must face the consequences for their sins, Romans 2:5-9 / Romans 14:10-12 / 1 Corinthians 4:5 / 2 Corinthians 5:10.
Israel must realise the price for disobedience, God will not drive out the nations, and the nations will be a trap to them. Even though all God’s promises have been kept to this point, they will be destroyed from the land and they will perish quickly.