In this chapter we see a strong message for us today. I refer to the welcoming into our midst of Islam via Muslims, their books, and their influence. This ungodly action has brought evil, idolatry, violence and death, with many more heinous results of allowing a satanic religion into the West. The warnings here are very plain. Christians especially have no business welcoming Islam, because their very welcome is proof of a very low understanding of God and Who He is, which places all of us in real danger, from growing idolatry to hatred and murder.
And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.
And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age:
And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.
He spoke of God’s provision, combatting the enemy nations around them, because they were His chosen people. He added the oft-forgotten fact, that when a person has to fight, it is God Who gives the victory, no matter how expert that person is in combat. The same applies today to Christians. It is not campaigns that win, but God helping each faithful believer.
Behold, I have divided unto you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, even unto the great sea westward.
And the LORD your God, he shall expel them from before you, and drive them from out of your sight; and ye shall possess their land, as the LORD your God hath promised unto you.
Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;
That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:
But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.
Joshua said ‘Look! I have divided up Canaan for our tribes, as commanded by Moses and Jehovah, and fought the Canaanites from east of Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea. It is all yours! So, keep good courage and always believe and do what Moses says in his law. Do not deviate from those laws in even one small thing.’
He told them they MUST obey his words (because they were the commands of Jehovah) and NEVER mix with the enemies and pagans still amongst them; NEVER even talk about their false gods or use them spiritually, nor to worship and serve them or to allow them passage into their minds and society, and never to bow before them (which includes accepting them or their people into their midst). Instead, they MUST cling to Jehovah Who is their God. They were loyal to this time – let them stay loyal, so their hearts will not be corrupted.
This is a very powerful message for us today: Christians in particular MUST NOT welcome Islam or Muslims into the West, nor acknowledge their religion to be true, not even by saying ‘each to his own’ (which condones falsity), nor befriend them as unbelievers with false gods, nor suggest ANY point of acceptance in ANY way. Once they do these things, against God’s command, they will fall inwardly in their hearts and outwardly in their actions. The gods mentioned in this chapter often are said to be equal to Baal... and Baal is probably equal to the Allah of Islam. No genuine Christian will allow him/her self to be seduced by friendly smiles and embraces of welcome by Muslims, for he/she knows that it is like the kiss of death.
In my past and today, I can speak of Christ to men, from atheists to pagans, and can smile if there is no opposition to my declaration that what they believe is anathema. But, if they oppose, I copy what Christ said – I shake the sand from my sandals and go away, never to return. This is what true believers do, because to allow even a tiny grain of their presence or beliefs into my mind or heart is to start a cancerous growth of godlessness that can ruin my faith and negate my witness.
BEWARE of seductive friendliness shown by those whom God hates! Does He hate those who oppose Him? Read the Book of Joshua and the answer is plain! Does He condemn those of His people who even remotely accept enemies/pagans in any way? Yes, He does. Do my words prove that I hate my enemies? No, it does not... but I certainly hate what they say, do and think, and cannot abide their presence. I leave the hate for God, Who tells me in straight language what he thinks of them. (Of course, this also applies to ANY false believer or follower of cults/occults/heresies, including Romanism, JW, Mormon, spiritualism, and churches teaching error).
For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day.
One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
Joshua again reminds Israel that the victories came from God, not their own devices and wars. God drove them out. It is this divine power that kept His people, and continues to keep us to this day. Because the power was God’s, enemies were held at bay. This is the striking truth for today – one man can dispel a whole army! If each believer stood firm and spoke truth, no enemy could stand against us and so there is victory. Why do we not see this victory today? The passage tells us!
As Joshua puts it: “One man of you shall chase a thousand”! This is because God is the One Who wins the battle, not the man. It is a profound message for our modern day, when so many in the churches think that banding together and delivering strong words and presence will win the day. Not so. If each of that band was sincerely and truly convinced by the Lord, only then would there be victory. Instead, each man in the band is placing confidence not in God, but in their numbers. So, they lose.
Thus, said Joshua, take close notice and love Jehovah with all your heart, for in Him is your power and strength. It is not in yourselves. For this reason if any of you, even once, starts to adhere to the pagans around you, you will go astray and lose God’s mercy. (Joshua says “in any wise”; that is, the slightest affiliation). Even worse is if you marry a pagan and/or allow pagans into your midst, or you into theirs, your faith will dwindle. This is very true, for the slightest consideration for pagans is to tear down your defences, bit at a time, and to start rejection of the fullness of God’s truth.
Joshua underlines what he warns them about: It is certain that if you disobey this godly command, God will no longer protect you, your lives, or your families. The pagans will, rather, remain and grow amongst you, spelling your final devastation. When you do not stand firm and aloof from the pagans, they shall be like snares and traps. Like flesh-eating virus’ they will eat away at your being until your faith is nil. They will be like “scourges in your sides” – deep wounds made by a goad or sharp implement. It will be as if they have thrust large thorns into your eyes, making you blind. The net effect will be to lose the land God helped you to gain.
In our day it means that ANY approach to pagans for any reason other than preaching the Gospel, is to be shunned. We might argue that ‘they are not all the same’ (maybe because some are nicer than others), but this is the language of a defeated Christian. To God they ARE ‘all the same’ because they reject the one true Lord and embrace a false god. For this He allows no excuse, nor does He expect anyone who belongs to Him to side-line it. Again, I say, BEWARE.
And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he have destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.
Joshua then finished his speech, telling them he would die before the day was out. He reminded the Israelites that they KNEW for a fact that God has not let them down in any way. He keeps His promises to the letter! All they have to do is believe and act like believers. The promises will then keep coming true.
But, if they dared to turn back - and the above dire warnings about consorting with pagans is an example - God would chase them as tirelessly as He does when He gives them rewards. He will not give them good things, but evil things. This is to be interpreted as afflictions, ill-deeds, adversity, harm, grievous, sadness. They would be destroyed in the land given to them if they dared to ignore their faithfulness.
We often forget that God is not emotional at all, not like us! He will reward us in abundance for our trust, but, equally, He will condemn us outright for leaving aside our obedience to Him. This is because, to God, we are either obedient or not, and He will reward or punish accordingly. Our former loyalties to Him do not act as a substitute when we sin! Whatever we gained in our faithfulness, He will instantly remove if we turn back.
This is because we will have “transgressed the covenant of the Lord” and sinned. He has given us commands, and we ignore them. We have, even in the slightest degree, bowed to pagan gods. For this God turns upon us in His anger; we might sin slowly in this, but it begins the growth of His wrath, for while we start to turn towards pagans and their gods, He keeps warning us in our consciences and hearts. This is something we ignore at our peril and He can, and does, cause us to perish off this earth. See how Sapphira and Ananias were instantly judged to death. It is only the goodness of the Lord that we do not all die before the Lord for our daily sins.
We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Every one of us. As I speak these words I speak them to myself, and apply the same warnings to us all.
Today, as our lands are invaded by pagans who hate us, we can thank not the government for this, but ourselves. We are guilty of allowing paganism into our midst, without even a query.
But, it began long ago, when we allowed in cults and occults, and heresies galore! And this comfortable allowance of everything godless has continued to the time of this writing. Christians do not speak or stand against evils of any kind, nor do they oppose and condemn heresies and deceptions, even in our churches; and bad pastors are given high honours. Rather, if their practitioners are open with their falsity, they take them as friends!! We say nothing. This is why Christians are despised and discounted as having anything worthwhile to say. Why, we do not even defend what we believe... so why should anyone else listen to us? Just a few amongst us remain faithful, but the majority are not, and their reckless abandonment of truth and God’s warnings are the source of sustained attacks upon us.
This book shows us the intensity of God’s hatred for His enemies. As I have said elsewhere on numerous occasions, we dare not love those whom God hates! For, to do so is to show our contempt for the Lord and His words. This leads to our own slow demise as believers, and opens us up to direct punishment from God. Is this really what YOUR faith comes down to – a slow demise? Or, will you take heed, and increase your faithfulness, to expect a due reward from the Lord?
Before you concern obvious paganism, start in your own family. Do you allow a relative to speak blasphemy in your presence? Do you practice what you preach? Do you allow a bad pastor to stay in the pulpit? Do you question when he speaks in error? Do you say nothing when a cult applies for planning permission in your neighbourhood? Do you speak strongly to your local council if Muslims want to use a building as a mosque? Do you vote for an homosexual MP? Do you know if he or she is morally corrupt, and speak out in protest? Do you warn against filling the land with Islam? Do you warn against the open plots and words of homosexuals? There is so much to consider... but do YOU consider these things? God watches and waits. Will he see us as faithful, or will He see us hiding under falsity, or saying nothing because we fear for our jobs, or society’s wrath, or our jobs? Think and be faithful!
© October 2017