Scripture Reading: Joshua 23:6-13
“Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written int he Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, but you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day.” (Joshua 23:6-8)
“Prone to wonder, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.” These words from Robert Robinson’s hymn, Come, Thou Fount, describe the reality that we all face. We can be so easily influenced by the world we live in. We begin to compromise our most basic convictions and turn to the idols found deep inside our hearts. We can easily be influenced by others, by the secular culture we live in, and by our own sinful desires. We begin to love other things more than we love Jesus. These things become gods to us, idols we worship.
Joshua warned the leaders of God’s people about compromise. He knew the condition of the human heart — “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Joshua knew that the pagan people who remained in the land God’s people inherited could easily influence them — and, unfortunately, they eventually did. None the less Joshua gave them a stern warning — “that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods, or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them” (v. 7).
Joshua said that the key to preventing compromise is to cling to the Lord God and to love Him — “But you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day…Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God” (vs. 8,11). When we cling to Jesus and love Him, we will desire to obey Him. He said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Our love for Jesus must be greater than our love for ourselves. When we love Him more than ourselves, we will gladly yield to His will, for we know it is best for us.
But we must also be on guard. The world is constantly pulling us away from Jesus. We must heed the words of Scripture, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions — is not from the Father but is from the world” (I John 2:15,16).
Our love for Jesus must come first. We must cling to Him and resist the temptations that seek to draw away from Him and to the idols of our hearts. “But you shall cling to the Lord your God just as you have done to this day…Be very careful, therefore to love the Lord your God.”
Lord Jesus, protect me from the idols of my heart that seek to lead me away from You. Let my love for You grow deeper day by day. I must cling to You for refuge and strength. I know that my heart is prone to wonder and to leave the God I love. Give me strength to walk in line with the truth of the gospel today.
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