Joshua 23:11 - Be Careful To Maintain A Love Relationship With God.

Joshua 23:11 - Be Careful To Maintain A Love Relationship With 

Joshua 23:11 (NIV) So be very careful to love the LORD your God.

Joshua 23:11 (EAV) Be very watchful of yourselves, therefore, to 
love the Lord your God. 

Joshua 23:11 (TLB) So be very careful to keep on loving him.


   No matter how great leaders may be, they cannot last forever, 
although their work is never lost (1 John 2:17). Like his predecessor 
Moses, Joshua gave a farewell address, first to his leaders (chap. 23) 
and then to the people as a whole (chap. 24). 
   He magnified the Lord and not himself. No one would question 
that Joshua was a gifted leader and a great general, but he gave the 
glory to God. 
   He challenged the people to keep trusting God and claiming 
their inheritance. In the book of Judges, you will discover how their 
incomplete obedience led to compromise and severe discipline from the Lord. 
Joshua had warned them (v. 16), but they forgot his words. Triumph was 
turned into tragedy. 
   He reminded them that God's Word never fails (v. 14) and must 
be obeyed completely if God is to continue His blessing on the 
land. Verse 7 explains how to wander from the Lord, and the nation did 
exactly that! 
   You are writing your own "farewell speech" right now. What 
will it sound like? [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren 


Everything depended on whether or not Israel would continue to 
be faithful to the covenant. Joshua's words do not conceal his 
apprehension. Seven times he refers to the idolatrous nations still left in 
Canaan. He knew the snare they would be to Israel, and he therefore 
prescribed three safeguards. First, there must be brave adherence to God's 
word (Josh. 23:6). Second, there must be a vigilantly continued 
separation from the Canaanite nations (Josh. 23:7). Finally, there must be 
a cleaving to the Lord with real and fervent love (Josh. 23:8-11) 
(J. Sidlow Baxter, Explore the Book). [EAB footnote] 

Perhaps the danger would be greater now, after the Israelites 
were settled at ease in the land, that their love for God might turn 
to something else. The scriptures in both the OT and NT emphasize 
the pre-eminence of love. Power may be pleasant, wisdom and beauty 
may be delightful, and riches may give a certain prestige and sense 
of security, but life is not in these. Love supersedes all. 
Obedience submits to the voice which cries, "Thou shalt have no other gods 
before me" (Ex. 20:3). But love responds, "O Lord our Lord, how 
excellent is thy name in all the earth" (Ps. 8:1). Obedience declines to 
take the name of the Lord in vain, whereas love exclaims, "The desire 
of our soul is to thy name" (Isa. 26:8). "There is none other name 
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). 
Obedience refuses to break the Sabbath, but love says, "Call the Sabbath a 
delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable" (Isa. 58:13). So it ought to 
be with all the divine commands. "Love is the fulfilling of the 
law" (Rom. 13:10). [SDA Bible Commentary] 

Would we cleave to the Lord, we must always stand upon our 
guard, for many a soul is lost through carelessness. Love the Lord your 
God, and you will not leave him..... Let us watch and pray against 
temptation. Let us trust in God's faithfulness, love, and power; let us 
plead his promises, and cleave to his commandments, then we shall be 
happy in life, in death, and forever. [Matthew Henry Commentary] 

   Many are familiar with "love languages" - the idea that each 
of us has a preferred mode of receiving love from others. Love 
languages include spending quality time together, physical touch, 
receiving gifts, acts of service, and words of affirmation. We understand 
the affections of others when they are expressed through one of 
these means.  
   What we often don't realize is that God has love languages 
too. He enjoys words of affirmation (praise), receiving gifts 
(offerings), acts of service (obedience), quality time (prayer/meditation), 
and even physical touch. The last in the list may be a little 
difficult for us to express - though Jesus surely enjoyed John's leaning 
against Him at the Last Supper, and the Father surely enjoys our 
savoring the physical gifts He gives us - but God receives love in much 
the same ways we do. He even tells us how to express love to Him. 
Scripture is full of instructions about how to give to Him, speak to Him, 
and serve Him. God has made His desires clear.  
   All of our expressions of love - praise, offerings, 
obedience, conversations with Him, and longings for sensory touches - are 
meant to be an overflow of our heart. When we turn God's instructions 
into nothing but a set of obligations, we undermine their purpose. 
They were all given first and foremost as ways to express our love. 
That's why the greatest commandment to love Him is above all others; it 
was meant to shape everything we do in our lives toward God. More 
than anything else, we were designed to adore Him. And our number one 
pursuit is to figure out how to love Him well.  
   Lord, how can I love You well today? What time should I set 
aside to spend with You? What service can I do? What can I say that 
will touch Your heart? Help me love You deeply and show it well. [The 
One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen] 




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