Hold on Tight!
When my kids were young walking through a crowed parking lot or crossing the street meant that I held their hands tightly. They were not able to see oncoming cars and the cars were not able to see them. So I would tell them hang on tight and we would walk through the parking lot together. If they pulled their hand out of mine and tried to run on their own the results were not good for them. They would get in big trouble because of the danger they invited on themselves. The greater the danger the greater the consequence they faced. These were life and death situations and they were to understand this or face the wrath of their frightened momma.
The people of Israel are told to, “cling the Lord your God,” and to not “cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you.” (Joshua 23:8,12) Joshua tells them twice in this short section that God has got them where they need to be and that they do not have to fear anyone, “one man of you puts to flight a thousand,” (Joshua 23:10) because of their relationship to the Lord. On the other hand if they turn and begin to behave like the people they are replacing in the land, then they will have someone to fear, God! Joshua says that just as God is faithful to deliver on His promises of blessing, the Lord is faithful to deliver on His promises of punishment, “the Lord will bring upon you all the evil things, until He has destroyed you from off this good land that the Lord your God has given you.” (Joshua 23:15) The point being, this is life and death, to worship the Lord God brings life, to go after other gods brings death. So long as they walked with the Lord they had nothing and no one to fear, the moment they began to walk with other gods, they had everything to fear, most of all God Himself.
Cling to the Lord today. This frosty Tuesday morning is another day. Yesterday is finished, no matter if you failed or succeed in clinging to the Lord on Monday, cling tightly to Him today. His promise is to forgive you and lead you on the path of righteousness if you will just trust Him and put Him first in all that you do. He wants to bless you today but He can’t if you keep pulling away from Him and running headlong into the dangers of worshipping all the things of this world.
Let the words of Joshua 23:11 repeat in your mind and heart today,
“Be careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God.”