I just read Joshua 23 in the Message. Several things stood out to me....but this one got me:
11-13 "Now, vigilantly guard your souls: Love God, your God. Because if you wander off and start taking up with these remaining nations still among you (intermarry, say, and have other dealings with them), know for certain that God, your God, will not get rid of these nations for you. They'll be nothing but trouble to you—horsewhips on your backs and sand in your eyes—until you're the ones who will be driven out of this good land that God, your God, has given you.
I've read many things that try to help show how the people of Israel receiving their promise can relate to us today. This passage stood out to me as we still face the same temptations and trials today as we inherit our promised land. It sounds easy...Love God, your God...but why is it so difficult to keep from wandering off?
There have been times when God would call me to a new level, but I would still be trying to associate with the 'nations among us'. Just as this verse says, the nations become nothing but trouble...and then God won't even drive them out! We can't serve God fully and still be involved in the sin of this world. It will cause us to be driven out of our promised land. Our peace and freedom and joy will be gone due to associating with the sins of this world.
Yet, if we rest in Him, in our promised land, and don't associate with the nations among us...he will drive them out! He will make those temptations less tempting! It will be easier and easier to serve him with joy as we trust Him to drive the nations out before us. He is so faithful to do that!
14 Know this with all your heart, with everything in you, that not one detail has failed of all the good things God, your God, promised you. It has all happened. Nothing's left undone—not so much as a word.
God is so faithful to his promises. When we realize that we will do what Joshua 24: 14 commands: You, worship God!
Lord, thank you for your Word. Help me to love you more each day. Keep me from wandering off. Give me a deeper desire to worship you, as you are so worthy Father! In Jesus Name AMEN!