We need reminding… (Joshua 23)
After a long time had passed, as Joshua is close to the end of his life he gathers all of Israel and speaks to the leadership of the nation in a way that is very reminiscent of Moses’s Deuteronomy sermon in the last moments of his leadership (see the whole book of Deuteronomy but especially chapters 29-33.
Joshua re-iterates very similar words to those of Moses, as their leader he calls them to remember three things;
- To remember what God has done for them (vs3,9-10, especially vs14)
- To remember what God requires of them (vs6-8, 11-13) to do and not do
- To remember the warning of God’s jealous wrath should they turn away from God in compromise and idolatry (vs15-16)
The call to remember is a repeated refrain in the Old Testament, passage after passage points back to the covenant with Abraham, the actions of God for His people to deliver them from Egypt, the covenant and commandments given to Moses, the sin and unbelief in the wilderness, God’s punishment on that generation, God’s faithfulness to ‘every word’ of His promises to His people in giving them the Promised Land and fighting for them…… As you read on in the OT, the refrain goes on and on, through the prophets and God’s various mouthpieces and even into the NT with books like Hebrews having a definite call to remember in them.
Well we so easily forget. More than this, remembering God’s faithfulness to us in the past (past faith) is the foundation we need to have faith in the present with all its challenges and its the foundation we need to have faith for the future we can not yet see.
Remembering, recounting, telling and re-telling the ‘God-stories’ of our lives, reading the ‘God-stories’ of Scripture are so vital to our faith.
I want to urge you to remember how God has worked in your life (starting with what Jesus did on the cross for you) and spend time thanking God again.
Remember things you can and have thanked God for and let the memory of those God-stories fuel your faith again for the present and the future.
Lastly, remember that warnings are no good to us unless we are warned by them. God promises to deal with the compromise and sin of Israel, the breaking of covenant (vs15-16). We live under a new covenant of grace but sin is still an offence to our Holy Father. We will never be punished for our sin because Jesus was crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:4-6) but we can miss the life and the nearness and blessing of God that He wanted us to experience.
Is there any ongoing sin in your life that you know you need to repent of?
I urge you to repent & to turn from it, to seek out help if you need help.