Joshua 24 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“But Joshua told the people, “You will not be able to worship the L_rd, because He is a holy G_d. He is a jealous G_d; He will not remove your transgressions and sins. If you abandon the L_rd and worship foreign gods, He will turn against you, harm you, and completely destroy you, after He has been good to you.” “No!”, the people answered Joshua. “We will worship the Lo_d.” Joshua then told the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you yourselves have chosen to worship the L_rd.” “We are witnesses,” they said. “Then get rid of the foreign gods that are among you and offer your hearts to the L_rd, the G_d of Israel.” So the people said to Joshua, “We will worship the L_rd our G_d and obey Him.” Joshua 24:19-24
The book of Joshua ends with the burial of three of Israel’s dynamic leaders: Joshua, Joseph, and Eleazar. Joshua had led Israel militarily into the “promised land”. G_d had enabled Joseph to obtain power in Egypt, in order to save Israel during the great famine of Jacob’s days. Eleazar the high priest led Israel, spiritually, during the taking of the “promised land”.
The burial of these three men is symbolic of how G_d’s deliverance can be forgotten within a few generations. No matter how wisely, piously, or miraculously G_d’s servants lead us, it is still OUR responsibility and challenge to seek G_d personally.
In management circles there is a saying: Success is defined by the successor.
You never know how well the “vision” has been transferred to the next generation, until the charismatic leader is extracted from the scenario. Joshua told Israel that their success was directly proportional to the extent they abandoned foreign gods and offered their hearts to the L_rd.
In chapter 24, there are two types of gods that Joshua outlined: The gods of their pre-Abrahamic ancestors, and the gods of the Canaanites. How did the ancestral gods survive all these years?
“When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household idols.” Genesis 31:19
Sometimes harbored sin can seem both secret and benign. Truth be known, the L_rd sees our sin, and it is far from benign. In fact, sin is always malignant, often spreading quietly over the years, growing with quiet intensity throughout the generations. This is how one generation can revere the L_rd, and the next generation can completely devalue Him.
If you choose to worship G_d, ask Him to reveal the hidden secrets of your heart. Then, take courage and drive out that deep-embedded sin. Your children’s children need you to be faithful TODAY.
Daily Devotional, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014