Sunday Morning Podcast August 27, 2017. Bro. Dave Goble
TEXT: JOSHUA 23:1-13
1 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.
2 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:
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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;
7 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:
8 But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day.
9 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.
10 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.
11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
12 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:
13 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.
To be a productive pioneer you first need to be a fruitful settler. Pioneers striking out for new land, can not rest on their efforts, but need to first have been a productive settler of the land they come to possess. In this scripture, God had commanded that the Israelites not “mix” with the natives of the land, in marriages or worship. For this land’s natives didn’t serve the one true God, but idols of their own making. The Israelites having journeyed at God’s leading, were then commanded to drive out the inhabitants that worshiped idols. Only then could they conquer, possess, and become settlers of the land.
Today also, God doesn’t want us to “mix” with all the religions of the world. He is a jealous God. He wants a people settled in His Word, and not of the religious opinions of ourselves or anyone else’s. His commands are not compatible with the merely religious or of worldliness. As God’s children, we cannot accept the notion that we are the same as all religions; for godly behavior is different than that of a spiritually intoxicated people who are ecumenical. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Psalms 1:1 Godly behavior will not follow after vanity, ungodly counsel, stand in the way of a sinner finding God, or be a scorner and mocker. God will not accept anything less than our very best, …that of His holiness in our life. Anything not compatible with God’s Word must be cleared out of our life, so we can be settled in it. Only then can we be real pioneers for the cause of God’s kingdom. Your delight will then be in the laws and commandments of God’s pure Word.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1,2 Nothing less than clearing out all (being a living sacrifice) will renew our minds, and settle us in His Word, …so He can use us for His purpose. When we are truly settled in God’s ways, we then can be a pioneer for Him. Renewed minds brings a transformation, so that we can be settlers for God.