I have been joining a Bible study group that has been walking diligently through the book of Joshua for a little over a year now. There is a question in our booklet that asks the following. Choose one verse or phrase from Joshua chapters 22-24 that stands out to you. This could be something you’re intrigued by, something that makes you un-comfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with you, or something you want to examine further.
This is my something: Joshua 22:5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
In chapter 22, the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh had been promised a portion of the land on the East side of the Jordan River. After the conquest was finished and the rest of the tribes were beginning to settle in their land, Joshua called these folks to gather with him. They had promised that they would help fight the battles with the rest of the tribes of Israel and they had kept their promise. Joshua commended them for doing their part and for keeping their word and now they were able to settle in the land that was promised them.
Joshua gives them a brief message to remember to do all that they had promised Moses that they would do even now that their conquest was over. Joshua reminded them that they were to take diligent heed to ‘do’ the commandment ‘and’ the law that God had charged Moses, the servant of the Lord. Joshua didn’t stop there. He also said, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Not only does this one little verse intrigue me, I have come to examine it further because this seems to me to be a very important word.
First I would like to point out that here it is at the end of their conquest and these folks are the last to be properly given their portion of land. I am reminded of the following verse, but many that are first shall be last; and the last first. ~ Mark 10:31
The Lord had promised to give the land of Canaan unto Abram’s seed for a possession (Gen. 12:7), and He had now done so. He promised to make Abram’s seed such a prolific and numerous one and if a man could count the grains of dust then they would know the number.
And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. ~ Genesis 13:16
The Lord promised to preserve them in all places wherever they went and He had done so—in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and throughout all their wilderness journeying’s.
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. ~ Genesis 28:15
He promised to bring into Canaan the fourth generation of Abram’s descendants after their assembly in Egypt.
Genesis 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
A close look at Exodus 6:16-28, proves that it came to pass. Specifically, the Lord promised to give them success in their fighting and He did so.
Exodus 23:27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.
God promised to deliver “kings” into their hands and He did. Deuteronomy 7:24 And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.
Joshua 10:24 And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them.
The word tells us that Joshua did as he was given charge to do regarding the kings. Joshua 10:40 So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded.
God promised to give them “rest” in the land. Deuteronomy 12:10 But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety;We can read for ourselves that the Lord gave them rest as He promised.
Joshua. 21:44 ~ And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.
What God says He will do, He will do. What did God require of His servant Moses and for him to teach to all the children of Israel? Take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Their obedience was based on their love for God who had kept all of His promises and now Joshua was reminding them to keep their end of the promise that they had made and agreed to do. This was their spiritual responsibility just as it is ours. When we know that we are called to serve the Lord and we know that we are His children, we love Him and serve Him. We are marching as good soldiers toward our promised land. Will we do any less?
Moses once said to know that the LORD God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations and yet people still insist that we are not obligated to keep covenant with God by protecting His law, His statutes and His judgments. King David even knew many years later after Joshua’s lifetime that God had promised to keep covenant to a thousand generations, those that would serve Him and protect His commandments.
Psalm 105:8 ¶ He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Here in our life time we cannot yet count a thousand generations since the time of the charge given to Moses. If we use the maximum of 40 years to calculate, a “thousand generations” that would amount to 40,000 years. (40 x 1000 = 40,000) Using the Biblical standard for the measurement of a generation, it is obvious that in all of human history there have only been 150 generations of people that have lived on this earth. (6000 years divided by 40 = 150) We are a far cry from a thousand generations.
This is easy enough for us to understand then that we absolutely must conclude that God still expects His people to keep His covenant that He commanded to a thousand generations. You might be asking yourself, “Is it really possible to think that we could survive another 850 generations that would total 34,000 years?” Um… yeah, that takes a lot of faith. Nevertheless, if God makes a promise, can He go back on His own promise? Just because man goes back on his promises, does not mean that God does.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies and that seek him with the whole heart. Psalm 119:2-3
Walking in the law of love is easy enough to do when we remember that love is the main ingredient that is most important in our daily walk. When we put God first in our life, we love the LORD our God, walk in all His ways and keep His commandments, cleave unto Him, and to serve Him with all our heart and with all our soul.
We love him, because He first loved us.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God,” 1st Corinthians 2:9-10.
- In Faith I Stand (eudoranachand.wordpress.com)
- Is Fear a Sin? (eudoranachand.wordpress.com)
- Exodus 17. God gives the people water. Water from the rock (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- Exodus 34. The second set of stone tablets (bummyla.wordpress.com)