Joshua – Faithful Warrior
Fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth
In the 24th Chapter of the Book of Joshua, Joshua calls all the people together and recounts their history from the time of Abraham until their conquering of Canaan. He calls upon them to “fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth.” He then challenges them to choose between the True God and the false gods.
Joshua was the first great battle commander-in-chief of the Hebrew nation. His armies took the land of Canaan in accordance with God’s promise in a series of stunning victories. However, during his campaigns, the people fell away and began to assimilate with those they conquered. Joshua’s admonition to “fear God, and serve Him in sincerity and truth,” is like the statement of Peter concerning Cornelius when Peter said, “he who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to Him.” Both statements place the fear of God before all else. This is essential and proceeds the second part of this formula. It is necessarily so, because unless one has a fear of the Lord, it is impossible to do what is right and true, and anyone who fears God and does what is right, surely does serve God in truth and sincerity.
In the late 1800’s there was a German philosopher by the name of Nietzsche's. He was a nihilist who proclaimed “God is dead” and taught that old values were continually being replaced by new correct ways of thought. Many Nazis who were affected by Nietzsche’s philosophy could easily adjust to the killing of millions of innocent people and the invasion of their neighbor's land, for Hitler and the Party would tell them what was right and wrong. Stalin and his atheist empire had a very similar situation in Russia with the Communist Party. It established the new good, the new right and wrong, for the workers of the world, thereby replacing God and Church.
Our situation today is not far different. There are many people in America who are very much concerned with those whom they call “Fundamentalist" - those who believe the Bible is true. There is a new standard of what is right and wrong emerging. For instance, if the Bible says that homosexuals are an abomination and have no place in the Kingdom of God, and if Christians believe that and act accordingly concerning homosexuality, they are labeled “homophobes.” The new "goods" include: Homosexuality, Abortion on Demand (the most dangerous place for a child is its mother’s womb), one-parent families, illegitimacy, the denial of any Evil or Satan or Hell, pornography, violence, sloth, reality TV with Machiavellian types of behavior, and other hedonistic types of behaviors – along with the denial of personal accountability (let's blame it on "society"). If they can discredit or discount the Word, they can do away with the fear of the Lord, and then all of these behaviors are not Evil, but “wholesome and good” (as many the Episcopal Church labeled their homosexual Bishop who left his children and wife and took up a partnership with a man).
This is not the example we see in Joshua. Joshua is the Faithful Warrior. He puts his whole trust in the Lord and boldly implements tactics and strategies to accomplish what God has ordained. He loves, fears, reveres, and obeys the Lord. He holds his people accountable for their actions and deeds and calls on them to turn from their false gods and follow the True God, to turn from their sin and serve God in truth and sincerity.
Joshua’s words are as true today as they were 3,700 years ago. His challenge is with us today. Will you follow the Lord and serve him, or will your follow the false gods set up by the world? “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”
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