King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020
Chapters: Joshua 22-24
Message: Choose Your God
Hello My Friend,
As saved, born again Christians, it is important that we serve God in our homes just as we do in the church, We are to be an example and witness to those who live in the world of the greatness of living a life through Christ. We are going to face trials and tribulation with or without God, how much more can we endure and get through them with the power of God on our side? Let me tell you, I have gotten myself into some messes and without God, all I got was a bigger mess. It was not until I went to God, begging for answers and guidance that He helped me. Let me tell you, trials are what make us into the person God wants us to be, not who we think we ought to be. “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” – I Peter 1:7-9.
I will tell you what, with this pandemic, rather, the panic of this pandemic, taking over the world, we are going to learn one way or another just how much we need to keep our eyes on God. Our land has been at rest for quite a while, the storms are not getting them to listen, perhaps a plague might. After Joshua divided the land, God gave them rest, Joshua sent the Reubenites, Gadites, and the other half of the tribe of Manasseh to the land that was given to them. Joshua sent them off with a stern warning.
“Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you: Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God. And now the LORD your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side Jordan. But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” – Joshua 22:1-5.
“to love the LORD your God,” The second we get saved, while we are living in the world, Jesus puts this barrier around us that encloses us with His blood, and nothing can get through this barrier. However, we need to take care to make sure that we keep our eyes on Christ, and not what is going on in the world. Otherwise, we risk losing the protections that that barrier keeps us in. Think about it as an alarm that can only be turned off with a code, while the alarm is activated, nothing can take away our possession. Once the code is punched in and the alarm is off, anything can get in. In other words, while soul is covered in Christ’s blood, and nothing can get through that, our flesh on the other hand can let its guard down and before you know it, sin creeps in, and those protections are at risk. “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” – Genesis 4:7.
Now, as soon as the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh got over the Jordan they built an altar, this was not an altar for sacrifices, rather an altar. This did not go over to well when the other tribes heard of it. In fact, they wanted to start a war with them. Why? They feared that if they started worshiping a false god, God would put that curse on them also.
“And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to. And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them. Thus saith the whole congregation of the LORD, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the LORD, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the LORD? Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the LORD, But that ye must turn away this day from following the LORD? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the LORD, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel. Then the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh answered, and said unto the heads of the thousands of Israel, God forbid that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn this day from following the LORD, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for meat offerings, or for sacrifices, beside the altar of the LORD our God that is before his tabernacle.” – Joshua 22:10,12,16-18,21,29.
“that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel.” Given the fact that our actions do affect other people, we must not jump to conclusions and suggest that because we see something, they are sinning. Yes, we must abstain from the appearance of evil, but we must not judge until we get the facts. This is where Jesus tells us to take the beam out of our own eye before we judge someone else. “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:4-5.
Joshua was now one hundred and ten years old, he knew his time on earth was coming to an end. And just like when Moses spoke to the Israelites before he passed, he left them with a warning also.
“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. 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: 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. 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; 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: But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. 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.” – Joshua 23:1-3,6-8,13.
“neither make mention of the name of their gods,” You see, we cannot even think about the gods of the world, and there are many. I am slowly working on my Bible studies in the history of Christian based religions, as well as some others. I will tell you what, if you are not grounded in the Word of God, it would be so easy to fall into their traps. Even I need to be careful that I do not keep these in my head or they will corrupt my thinking. This is why we need to study His Word daily, and keep it with us, it is our only defense against the true enemy Satan, who is behind all false religion. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” – II Timothy 2:15-16.
We must cleave to Jesus in order to remain faithful to God and not fall into the temptations of false gods. The closer we get to Him the more we will be able to defend ourselves from the enemy. When we are faithful to Jesus, then we are faithful to the Almighty God. And when we are faithful to God, He is faithful to us and will always fight for those who put their faith and trust in His Son. Joshua did not tell them that they had to follow God, but He did tell them, that if they were going to follow Him the better be committed to Him. And if you listen carefully as you are reading you will hear that it is God was speaking some of these words.
“And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.” – Joshua 24:3-5,14-16,19-22.
“If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods,” You cannot serve God and serve false gods at the same time. Anytime someone chooses a religion that goes against God’s Word, they are serving a false god. This is one in which they do not follow God’s Word, rather a book they call His Word or one they made up written from their own thoughts of God’s Word, (Luke 16:13). “Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD,” We are given a choice, either follow God or follow mans god, if we choose God that means He expects us to follow Him as He commands. That means we come to Him through His Son, we remain faithful to Him, we confess our sin, and we repent when we mess up. Are we going to be perfect? No. Are we going to sin? Yes. God knows this, that is what His grace is for. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” – I Corinthians 6:9-11.
Today’s Prayer: God, It is comforting to know that even if I mess up you will not disown me, but I do not want to be a child that just gets to receive Your inheritance because I am one of Yours. I want to prove myself to You, to show You how much I do love you, and to thank You for the great sacrifice You made for me. While I know it is only by Your grace that I am saved and that nothing I do earns my salvation, I am willing to be the witness that so many can find rest through their trials with Your Son. Lord, Lead me and guide me, teach me and walk with me, keep my heart tender, my eyes on You, and help me to be reminded that You are my rest, and peace through my trials, and that Your grace abounds. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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