Joshua 23

* Joshua's exhortation before his death. (1-10) Joshua warns the

people of idolatry. (11-16)

1-10 Joshua was old and dying, let them observe what he said

now. He put them in mind of the great things God had done for

them in his days. He exhorted them to be very courageous. Keep

with care, do with diligence, and regard with sincerity what is

written. Also, very cautiously to endeavour that the heathen

idolatry may be forgotten, so that it may never be revived. It

is sad that among Christians the names of the heathen gods are

so commonly used, and made so familiar as they are. Joshua

exhorts them to be very constant. There might be many things

amiss among them, but they had not forsaken the Lord their God;

the way to make people better, is to make the best of them.
11-16 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. Has God been thus

true to you? Be not you false to him. He is faithful that has

promised, #Heb 10:23|. The experience of every Christian

witnesses the same truth. Conflicts may have been severe and

long, trials great and many; but at the last he will acknowledge

that goodness and mercy followed him all the days of his life.

Joshua states the fatal consequences of going back; know for a

certainty it will be your ruin. The first step would be,

friendship with idolaters; the next would be, marrying with

them; the end of that would be, serving their gods. Thus the way

of sin is down-hill, and those who have fellowship with sinners,

cannot avoid having fellowship with sin. He describes the

destruction he warns them of. The goodness of the heavenly

Canaan, and the free and sure grant God has made of it, will add

to the misery of those who shall for ever be shut out from it.

Nothing will make them see how wretched they are, so much, as to

see how happy they might have been. 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 for

ever.

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