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
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
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]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Importance of Choice:
Seeking God Video Clip: http://vimeo.com/31489782
Prophecies Decoded Sermon Series: