【Bible Study】Joshua 25 Conclusion: Serve God Wholeheartedly
Bible Study: Joshua
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 00: Introduction
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 01: You Will Lead The People To Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 02: Anyone Who Seek God Will Also Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 03: God Will Honour His Established Leaders On The Way of Possessing the Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 04: Commemorating the Works of Our God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 05: God is Our Victorious Marshal
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 06: God Has Already Put the Enemy in Our Hands
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 07: The Devoted Things are the Cause of Failure in Spiritual Warfare
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 08: Blessings and Curses Determine Victory and Defeat
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 09: All Who Do Not Resist God Will Survive
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 10: All Those Who Are Enemies of God Will Perish
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 11: Left Nothing Undone
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 12: Live Victoriously on Earth
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 13: There Are Still Very Large Areas of Land to be Taken Over
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 14: Follow God Wholeheartedly, and You Will Acquire the Promises
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 15: Be Bold Enough to Ask God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 16: Enter the Promise Land Need a Resolute Attitude
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 17: Properties are Obtained Through Striving and Seizing it
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 18-19: Inheriting the Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 20: Designate the Cities of Refuge
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 21: Not One of All God's Good Promises Will Fail
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 22: Do you truly trust in God?
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 23: Warning the Israelites the Consequences of Turning Away from God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 24: You Shall Serve God Wholeheartedly
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 25 Conclusion: Serve God Wholeheartedly
If we were to abstract the entire Book of Joshua into a single sentence and give it a title, what title would you choose? Let's take a look at what this book is really about, from Chapter 1 all the way to Chapter 24.
What do you think about calling it "Possessing the Promised Land"? Actually, I've always thought of it with a title like that, but as I looked at it more closely, I realized that this book is mainly describing one person, and that person is Joshua, describing how he wholeheartedly followed God.
So, let's think together, is this book really about Joshua, or is it about the Israelites possessing the Promised Land? Of course, if you say it's about possessing the Promised Land, that's a good title. But as I thought about it, I felt that another title would be even better: "Wholehearted Service to God."
If we carefully read this book from beginning to end, doesn't "Wholehearted Service to God" connect with us even more?
In fact, today we all need to ask ourselves whether we are people who wholeheartedly follow God. If you are not someone who wholeheartedly follows God, if your eyes are only on your children, your husband, your family, or your parents, if your mind is constantly filled with thoughts of them, then it will be very difficult for you to wholeheartedly follow God. If we go back to the New Testament in the Bible, the requirements are even higher. If you want to be someone who wholeheartedly follows God, you must leave everything behind to follow Jesus. Today, what kind of person do we need to be, and do we need to carefully consider such questions?
Possessing the Promised Land is actually the result of wholeheartedly following God. In the days of the Israelites, they possessed the Promised Land because God remembered Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God remembered the covenant He had made with them. God allowed their covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be fulfilled in the Israelites. Originally, God intended to completely annihilate these people in the wilderness, but Moses interceded before God, and it was God's grace and mercy that led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
Why could the Israelites enter the Promised Land during the time of Joshua? It's because there was a man named Joshua who followed God wholeheartedly. I often ponder over such matters myself. I say, "God, I want to be a person who follows You wholeheartedly."
To wholly trust in God, to wholeheartedly follow God, to diligently observe and obey all of God's words - how marvelous that is! Brothers and sisters, you should know for certain that if you receive grace within a small group, it's because your small group leader is a person who follows God wholeheartedly. If you receive grace within a church district, it's because your church district leader is a person who follows God wholeheartedly. If you find grace among us, it's because I follow God wholeheartedly. In fact, our entry into the Promised Land is inseparable from the chosen vessels of God!
So, my brothers and sisters, do you want to be people who enter the Promised Land, or do you want to be people who follow God wholeheartedly? That's why I summarized the Book of Joshua as "Follow God Wholeheartedly," or you can call it "Trust God Wholeheartedly."
Our church has reached where it is today because someone once followed God wholeheartedly. Not only did someone follow God wholeheartedly, but I also have a hope that we can follow God wholeheartedly throughout our entire lives. That's the most important thing. Not one of God's good promises will fail, but why do they fall flat in many churches? Is it because God is unfaithful? No, God is faithful, but people are often unreliable.
We need to start thinking carefully. In fact, the Book of Joshua describes how Joshua wholeheartedly followed God and would lead the people to inherit the Promised Land. I encourage all of us here to desire to be like Joshua, like Moses, like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, like David, Samuel, Daniel, Isaiah, and even the apostle Paul, and most importantly, to desire to be like Jesus.
Up until now, do you still have many doubts in your heart? Let me tell you, if you don't have the word "wholeheartedness" within you, if all you have are your own matters, you can't serve this God! You can't serve this God. But if you only have "inheriting the Promised Land" within your heart, and you don't have the word "wholeheartedness," you also can't serve this God. You might enter the Promised Land, or you might not, but I can be certain that you're not a person who leads others to inherit the Promised Land.
So, my brothers and sisters, can you follow the example of Joshua and be a person who follows God wholeheartedly?
When Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land, we open the Book of Joshua and see that it begins by describing Joshua's fear. Who wouldn't be afraid? In the past, to obtain the Promised Land, the spiritual battles were unimaginably intense, and even today, we are still trembling with fear. Let's read these verses together:
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD , the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(Joshua 1:1-9 NIV)
These words are so powerful! Brothers and sisters, do you know to whom God speaks these words? God speaks these words to people who are wholehearted. These words are spoken so beautifully! I dream of obtaining this. In the earlier years when the church was being established, there was no victory; we only saw desolation. I thought about how to help the brothers and sisters obtain the promises. How can we take hold of God's promises? God's promises will never be in vain, even though our eyes see desolation, I know that God's words will never be in vain!
At that time, I was also reading this passage, "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." When I read these words, my heart was filled with strength!
In the past few days, there was a brother whose mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and her stomach was filled with fluid. His leader told me, "I made a schedule for her and arranged for people to continuously pray for her. Recently, she has improved significantly!" Do you know how packed that schedule was? People were praying for her every second.
Among us, there is truly no shortage of people who wholeheartedly follow God. I later thought about such matters. If there were no such arrangements, I think that our brother's mother, who had stomach cancer, might not have made it. A few days ago, this brother's mother was taken away by demons, and she started to exhibit symptoms like rolling her eyes, twisting her mouth, and foaming at the mouth, and she seemed to be on the verge of death. Then, they did as I had taught them, for my own mother had experienced this many times. She rolled her eyes, her mouth twisted, she drooled, her whole body twitched, and she looked as though she was about to die. I grabbed her inner thigh and prayed. Then I told the brothers and sisters among us, and later, she improved. This is not an easy thing to do, as you are watching someone on the verge of death.
After hearing such stories, they also practiced the same approach. This brother also grabbed his mother’s inner thigh and prayed, and again, saved her mother and snatching from the hands of the demon.
What is it that enables us to receive God's promises? It's being wholehearted. Today, you should know that leaders among us, in God's people, play a tremendously significant role. Without a wholehearted leader, the Israelites as a whole could not have entered the Promised Land.
We can boldly say that God is currently choosing people like Joshua in this generation. My earnest desire is that all of us, brothers and sisters among us, can be like Joshua, that we can lead our brothers and sisters into the Promised Land!
Brothers and sisters, God's promises are right before us, and no matter how many they are, in Jesus Christ, they are all yes! Today, we must completely reject old theological concepts. These old theological concepts also acknowledge God's promises, but they can't fulfill them. If we can't fulfill God's promises, what should we say? Is God's promise void? Certainly not. God remains faithful; it's just that people is vain.
But today, we must become people like Joshua. All our lives, not one will be able to stand before us. Just as God was with Moses, He will be with us. God will never forsake us, so we must be strong and courageous. We will make the people inherit the Promised Land.
Only be strong, be very courageous, and diligently obey all of God's laws. Do not turn to the right or left, and wherever you go, you will prosper. Let this Book of the Law never depart from your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. You know, what's the name of the book before the Book of Joshua? It's called Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy, it's either blessing or curse. Keeping and obeying God's words brings blessings; not keeping them brings curses.
So today, brothers and sisters, we must be very careful. We'd rather be wholehearted followers of God than be haphazard and careless. If you're careless in following God, you can't serve Him. Joshua was qualified to tell the generation of Israelites that they couldn't serve this God.
Why? Because what they lacked wasn't anything else but these two words: wholehearted devotion. I tell you, if a person lacks wholehearted devotion, what kind of person are they? They're an unfaithful person. I encourage everyone to start seeking one thing before God, that in His presence, we may have a heart and mindset that allows us to begin wholeheartedly following Him.
In fact, what the Book of Joshua describes are people like this, those who, in the city of Jericho, which was the first city the Israelites had to conquer upon entering the Promised Land, had someone named Rahab. Rahab was a person wholeheartedly seeking God, and as a result, something marvelous happened. This family in Jericho was saved because they sought God wholeheartedly. It's a truly remarkable thing because Rahab sought God wholeheartedly, and as a result, God sent two spies into her house, and her whole family was saved.
Later, when they crossed the Jordan River, do you know why the waters of the Jordan River parted? It was because of one person, Joshua, who wholeheartedly followed God. This path had never been taken before, yet Joshua led the Israelites through it. The waters of the Jordan River dried up, and three million Israelites crossed the Jordan River as if it were dry ground.
But if you and I were to witness such things, experience such events, would we be willing to be like Joshua? Or would our hearts still be filled with desires for our own interests? Brothers and sisters, in this generation, God is searching for vessels He can use. I earnestly desire that in this generation, all Christians, including you and me, can be like Joshua. I long for you and me to become people like Joshua, like Rahab, and bring people to the Promised Land!
If we continue reading the Book of Joshua, many wonderful things are said there. Do you know, God is our commander, and if we follow Him wholeheartedly, God will fight for us, and we don't need to be afraid. Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River and camped in Gilgal. Then, he circumcised all the males. It took several days for them to heal, and during this time, they couldn't fight.
Imagine if the people of Jericho had attacked at this moment. It would have been disastrous because the Israelites were in no condition to fight. But they didn't need to fear; they didn't need to panic. All they needed was to follow God wholeheartedly.
No matter how dire the situation seems, what we need is to carefully obey God's words. It's about spiritual circumcision, getting rid of the shame of Egypt. So, we don't need to be afraid; we don't need to panic because the Lord our God is our commander. He leads us into battle, and what is there to fear?
When you look with spiritual eyes, even though the Israelites were circumcised, did they rely on their own swords and spears? No. Joshua saw a man holding a drawn sword, and this man said to Joshua, "I am the commander of the army of the Lord." If we open our spiritual eyes, we will see people like Joshua among us. People who, just like the Israelites, have undergone spiritual circumcision.
What will we see? We will see the Lord's army, with three layers inside and three layers outside, surrounding us. Today, we don't need to be afraid; what we need is trust in God, and we need to follow Him wholeheartedly. Later, the walls of Jericho fell, and Rahab's entire family was saved.
Is our heart trusting in money or in God? If there's someone among us like Achan who embezzles what belongs to God, what will happen? The Israelites suffered defeat at Ai. Every time I read this chapter, I think, "God, how I long to establish a church among us that is holy and glorifies Your name!" Continuously cleansing the garbage of our hearts. Continuously being wholehearted in following You, Lord.
Do you know, a few remarkable things happened among us? I'm truly thankful for God's faithfulness. We've uploaded all of our e-books to the Amazon website! We've written 55 books so far. I'm genuinely thankful to God because we're carefully obeying His word, we're wholeheartedly following Him, and we consider God's word extremely important. So, we study the Bible, book after book, and this has resulted in 55 Bible study resources.
We're going to give away what we've received freely, for free. We hope the whole earth will be filled with people who glorify God's name. We thirst to obey and follow God's word carefully, and we desire for God's word to never leave our lips, to wholeheartedly follow God for all our lives.
After removing Achan from among the Israelites, they continued to conquer cities and take possession of the Promised Land. This was an extraordinary time. After recovering some of the lost territory, Joshua stood on Mount Ebal and declared the law, blessings, and curses, exactly as written in the Book of Moses. I believe this passage refers to the book of Deuteronomy. If you are willing, you can read Deuteronomy, and within it, there's a section called "Blessings and Curses," which spans two large books.
If you want to live well, you need to carefully obey God's word. Obedience leads to blessings, but it's not enough to merely see the blessings; you must have a heart that wholeheartedly follows God.
Brothers and sisters, do you know? In the Book of Joshua, in chapter 8, blessings and curses determine victory and defeat; in chapter 9, those who don't oppose God will survive; in chapter 10, those who are enemies of God will perish; in chapter 11, Joshua did not slack off in anything; in chapter 12, lived out victory on earth. These Gibeonites, who pretended to have traveled from a faraway place to meet Joshua, ended up deceiving him. Isn't that God's will? Later, these Gibeonites told Joshua and the Israelites, "Now we are in your hands; do to us whatever seems good and right to you!"
So, Joshua saved them from the hands of the Israelites, and they were not killed. Do you see it? Joshua was a man who wholeheartedly followed God; he deeply understood God's intentions. Don't think that these Gibeonites should have been killed; they should have been saved. Rahab should have been saved. We must know that their methods might not seem impressive, but they were the best methods they could think of.
Even later, many years after this incident, the Gibeonites were still preserved by God's protection. If someone wanted to harm the Gibeonites, they would be cursed. Later, King Saul killed many Gibeonites, and his descendants were cursed.
When we wholeheartedly follow God, we receive many graces and mercies from God. We receive freely what God gives, and we share these graces and mercies with others. We are not sharing God's judgment; our God is just, full of mercy, and mercy triumphs over judgment. What God desires from us is not just to do justice but also to love mercy and walk humbly with our God.
So, we need to completely remove religiousness from among us. Religiousness does not please God. Later, Joshua defeated many kings, and I tell you, for a man who wholeheartedly follows God, during his lifetime, no one could stand against him. Do you want to be such a person?
Later Joshua continued to conquer cities and territories. He killed all the people, none were spared, because they were all to be utterly destroyed. When we carefully obey God's word, it may seem a little unsympathetic, but it's necessary. You will find that among us, we treat people who resist God just as God commanded.
Of course, it's not as bloody as in Joshua's time, but today, we still have the heart to wholeheartedly follow God, and anything that God has commanded, we will not slack off in doing. Anything God has commanded, we will faithfully carry it out because the Lord will deal with your enemies just as He has promised. So do not fear or be dismayed; be strong and courageous. The people of God will indeed inherit the Promised Land.
The role of a leader in the church is significant. Later, Joshua led the Israelites to defeat 31 kings in the land of Canaan, sparing none. This was a decisive and thorough victory. Today, if you want to be like Santa Claus, that's not God's mercy. If you want to be like Joshua, then we will be filled with God's grace and mercy within us.
Those who oppose God will perish, but those who do not oppose God, even if they are like the Gibeonites who deceived Joshua, that's God's delight. Later, as Joshua obeyed God's instructions, he began to implement everything, including establishing the cities of refuge, exactly as God had commanded Moses.
If you and I were like Joshua, would we remember God's instructions clearly? Perhaps we would forget. Among us, even those who are careless need to change; we need to be diligent and know exactly what God has commanded us. Let the words of the law not depart from our mouths. Let us, when entering the Promised Land, remain as people who wholeheartedly follow God, diligently keeping all His statutes, ordinances, and commandments, so that we may thrive in the land God has promised us.
I ask you the same question as Joshua did: Are you going to serve the Lord or the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Today, you can choose whom you will serve, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. If you decide to serve the Lord your God, then be a person who serves Him wholeheartedly. If you are not wholehearted, all you will see are the benefits God provides, and you won't be able to serve Him properly.
Just as Joshua set up a stone as a witness in the place mentioned in the Book of Joshua, let us also establish something as a witness that we will obey everything the Lord has said. **Never forget that our God is a holy God and a jealous God.
If we are careless, we won't be able to serve this God, and He will not forgive our offenses and sins. If we turn away from the Lord to serve foreign gods, after He has blessed us, He will turn and bring disaster upon us, destroying us.**
Can we firmly say today: God, I will wholeheartedly serve You; I am determined to wholeheartedly serve You! May our words become a testimony for the future.
Now, let us read Joshua chapter 1 once again.