Love The Lord Your God

Be very careful to love the Lord your God. Joshua 23:11

Joshua witnessed the power of God since the days of Moses. When Moses died, the Lord chose Joshua to lead the nation of Israel and reassured Him with the following commitment.

No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Joshua 1:5

Moses chose Joshua as a young man to join 11 others to spy out the promised land. He also served Moses for the next forty years as they wandered in the wilderness.

Twenty-three chapters later, and over thirty years of possessing the land, Joshua was ready to step down. Before he did, however, he reminded them of the work they still needed to finish.

I have allotted to you as your homeland all the land of the nations yet unconquered, as well as the land of those we have already conquered—from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. Joshua 23:4

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He also encouraged them that God would continue to pave the way and fight for them.

This land will be yours, for the Lord your God will himself drive out all the people living there now. You will take possession of their land, just as the Lord your God promised you. Joshua 23:5

His encouragement, though, came with a firm warning. God issued the same warning to Joshua when He told him that He would never leave His chosen leader.

So be very careful to follow everything Moses wrote in the Book of Instruction. Do not deviate from it, turning either to the right or to the left. Joshua 23:6

God’s Instructions

Joshua wanted the Israelites to understand how much love the Lord God had for His people. Therefore, instead of making them wonder what He required of them, Moses wrote it down.

Joshua specifically warned them to keep from associating with the people groups around them. And he instructed them to stay completely away from the gods they worship.

Make sure you do not associate with the other people still remaining in the land. Do not even mention the names of their gods, much less swear by them or serve them or worship them. Joshua 23:7

Joshua continued by telling them to cling tightly to the Lord their God as they had done up until then. Of course, up until that point, they had a strong leader, but he would soon die.

Like Joshua succeeded Moses, no one stood ready to follow Joshua. In fact, each of the twelve tribes would inhabit their allotted territory. Their continued unity must have concerned Joshua.

So, during his instructions, he continually reminded them of their commonality. Namely, the Lord their God and how He proved His love for them.

For the Lord has driven out great and powerful nations for you, and no one has yet been able to defeat you. Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he has promised. Joshua 23:9-10

A Valuable Warning From Peter
Love the Lord your God

A Warning to Love the Lord Your God

The people must have felt good about what he had just said. Then he warned, “So be very careful to love the Lord your God.” Which served as a bridge as he talked about consequences.

  • But if you turn away from him and
  • cling to the customs of the survivors of these nations remaining among you,
  • and if you intermarry with them,
  • then know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive them out of your land.
  • Instead, they will be a snare and a trap to you,
  • a whip for your backs and thorny brambles in your eyes,
  • and you will vanish from this good land the Lord your God has given you. Joshua 23:12-13

Joshua exhibited a great love for the Lord his God. It served as an example to the rest of the nation. He asked them a point-blank question because he knew his time on earth grew short.

If you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? Joshua 24:15

He answered that question for himself because of his love for the Lord God. He also had enough confidence in his family to answer for them.

“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

How Much Do You Love The Lord Your God?

Love the Lord your God

How much do you love the Lord your God? Joshua said, “Choose today whom you will serve.” We must ensure we aren’t serving any of the gods in the land.

Unlike in the days of Joshua, the Lord isn’t asking us to shun people we rub shoulders with daily.

But he doesn’t expect us to pal around with them either because worldly people do worldly stuff.

And unless we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, our sinful nature will try to take over.

The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. Galatians 5:17

If you allow your sinful nature to take over, the Lord God will still love you. And the Holy Spirit will still convict you.

But if you choose to continually follow that nature, you will head down the wrong path. Think about someone you know who used to serve the Lord, but now they don’t. Paul told us why.

When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Galatians 5:19-21

The Apostle Paul Warned Us

Joshua warned the Israelites to be very careful to love the Lord their God. If they didn’t, they would lose what God had given them. Paul gave us the same type of warning in Galatians.

Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Galatians 5:21

Lord, you are our God who freely extends your love to us. Help us realize that if we don’t lovingly obey you, we could easily experience your justice.

Check out these related posts about love.

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1 thought on “Love The Lord Your God”

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