God desires our undivided attention
We have finally come to the end of the study of Joshua. I believe every leader should go through the book of Joshua. The story has alot of serving and leadership lessons to learn. As we come to a completion, we learn that God desires our undivided attention. However alot of times our attention is divided and distracted with things other than thinking about God and what he expects of us. This week, we look at the final chapters of Joshua: chapter 22,23 and 24.
Chapter 22- Separation anxiety
It took about 7 years to separate all the tribes of Israel, during the process of the allocation of their promised land. During this time, they were separated from their families, the promised land to go and do service to God. Even as they had been away from home, they did not return home empty. 7 years was a long time, however we learn that when give God our time, he will not forget our work. God is no mans debtor. He will pay you, however not in the way you think. We are challenged to share our resources, time and talents to grow the kingdom of God.
Key Truth 1: Putting God first resolves conflict and brings unity among believers
The Eastern tribes begun their explaination about building an altar for God. Their explanation to the rest of the Isaelites begun by calling the name of God. They put God first. To them, the honor of God came first. We too should be quick to honor God first and not human allegiance. The western tribes were also quick to wage war in honor of God. From this comfrontation, we learn that it is important to make an attempt to reconcile first before waging war. Being ready to see the best out of one another in times of conflict.
Chapter 23: Separation from Idols
Joshua’s focus was on God only and his main aim was to bring people back to God. He used the same words that he used in chapter 1 to encourage the Israelites. As christians we need to go where God leads us, this will make it difficult for us because in most cases, we are always going against the rest. We should be strong and courageous as we seek to follow God. Joshua tells the Israelites not to fall into worshipping foreign gods. If they do so, the foreigners will not leave their land.
Joshua in addition cautions them to be careful into mixing with these tribes that worship foreign gods. Evil invades quietly and before we know it we compromise on standards and this is what the Israelites were cautioned about. God is a perfect God, he is also a God of wrath and justice. God keeps his word always.
Key Truth 2: Ungodly influences lead to pain and suffering
God is a God who keeps his promises. Even his promises of judgement. We need to realise that where we put our trust and security; wherever we put it, if it is not God then it is an idol.
Chapter 24 – Separtion to God
The chapter ends with Israelites in their own land. They found everything laid out for them. They did not have to start from scratch because the land they had gone into well provided for. God works in ways we cannot see and for our good. Psalms 121:8 promises that “the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Joshua remind the Israelites to choose whom they will serve. They put their trust in God but not fully and completely. We are encouraged to hold fast to the Lord, cling to him so that you have nothing else to cling on. Joshua ends well, he lives a beautiful life and he was fully commited to God to the end.
Key Truth 3
Our choices reflect what we truly value. Today, only 20% of people serve the church the rest of the 80% warm the pews. Our actions speak louder and the challenge to us is are you putting to action Joshua’s proclamation?
“As for me and my house we shall serve the Lord”
Make a choice by finding out what you truly value. Our God is a jealous God and he demands our undivided attention.
Through the whole study of Joshua we see God’s promises never fail. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. – Joshua 21:45