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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: March 26th
“Cleave unto the Lord your God.”
Having served his nation faithfully, Joshua at the close of his life delivered his soul to the people in an earnest exhortation, the spirit of which as much needs pressing home upon believers now as in his day
The sight of the judgments of God upon the ungodly should have a salutary influence upon us, and the remembrance of the Lords mercy to us should bind us for ever to him.
This had been the command of the Lord to himself the music of it was. not out of his ears, and therefore he used the selfsame words to the people. Language which has acted powerfully upon our own hearts we fondly hope will have the like effect upon others.
He commends them as well as commands them. A little judicious praise makes men all the readier to hear. Separation from sinners was Joshua’s lesson, and it is one which is not stale or needless at this time.
Sin is weakness. Love to God gives us the strength of God.
Marriage with the ungodly is expressly mentioned, because it is a frequent and deadly snare. It has done more mischief in the church of God than tongue can tell. It is the wolf which devours the lambs.
Note from this verse that any sins in our own hearts which we do not resolutely drive out will become our plague and scourge. Think of “thorns in the eyes.” No man can have peace while he is at peace with any sin. Can a man carry coals in his bosom and not be burned?
Joshua 23:14 , Joshua 23:15
God’s faithfulness to his promises leaves us no room to doubt his equal faithfulness to his threatenings. He is a true God, both in mercy and in justice. We had need be carefully obedient, for the Lord is in earnest in every word he utters.
“Let me not wander from thy commandments.”
Joshua was moved to speak in the name of the Lord, and remind the people of what had been done for them. Having recapitulated the wonders of Egypt and the wilderness, he mentions the Lord’s goodness to them in Canaan.
God can make insects to be more terrible than men-at-arms, and he did so in this case. Israel fought, but her victories were due to a higher arm. After all we can do, our salvation is still of the Lord alone.
Everything which we possess is as much given to us of God as Canaan was to the tribes.
Joshua 24:14 , Joshua 24:15
Every man must have a god, the question was, who should be their god? Joshua declares that Jehovah alone should be God to him and to his household. We cannot serve two gods, and it will be a happy thing if in our house we never attempt it, but once for all choose the Lord alone to be our God. May divine grace so direct us.
They spoke well, yet not well enough, for they were much too confident in their own resolves. Having so often turned aside, it had been wiser to pray, “Lord, keep us, “than to cry so confidently, “we will” and “we will.”
Joshua 24:19 , Joshua 24:20
Joshua reminded them that their promise would not be so easy to keep as they imagined. It is one thing to promise, but quite another to perform. How solemn are the thoughts suggested by the words ”he is a jealous God.” He will not endure a rival, nor tolerate halfhearted service.
With good intent, but far too little self-knowledge, they entered into a covenant which they soon violated: Beware of trusting self in its best mood. It is fickle as the wind.
O Lord, we in this house desire to serve thee for ever. Help us by thy grace to be thy beloved children and thy faithful servants.
Lord, I long thy will t’obey
Fain I’d put all sin away;
But that I may serve aright,
Let thy Spirit be my might.
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