Rather, cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now. – Joshua 23:8
The tribes had entered into the Promised Land. They’d conquered their enemies and settled down in the territories that had Joshua and the high priest assigned to them by divine lot. The leader of the nation had grown old and knew that he was in his last days. He addressed the people of the nation and warned them again, as had Moses, to stick to the plan God designed for them or suffer the consequences.
The words of Joshua sting me like a sharp bee sting! Have you ever not clung to the LORD opposite of the way static holds clothes together? I have! There have been times in my life where I wanted and did do the things I wanted to do rather than hold steady and true to the path that God mapped out for me. Accordingly, there were unintended consequences that arose out of my choosing rather than holding onto the Lord and trusting in him. If we do nothing else from today’s reading at least do this, learn from Israel’s mistakes and from mine. They lost an entire nation because of their disobedience. I lost a family, friends, colleagues, and a church family because I chose to not believe that our God could overcome my situation. I became impatient and took matters in my hands. I had to be in control and not rely on God the Father to see me through the ordeal. Therefore, I reiterate the words of the warrior prophet, Joshua, hold onto God like you’ve done from the beginning and never let go!
Father, I am so amazed that I am still alive after all the bone-headed things I’ve pulled in my life. You’ve managed somehow to bail me out every time and keep me from serious harm. Yes, I lived through the resultant consequences of my actions, but two things inevitably happened. First you never stopped loving or caring for me. Secondly, I am still alive and able to love you. Grab hold of me and never let go. Help me to cling to you like socks fresh out of the dryer on a wool sweater! I need you. I do love you. Thank you for everything. In Jesus’ name, Amen.