Book of Joshua
“Cling to the Lord”
Joshua 23:1-16
Paul J. Bucknell

This is part 1/5 which introduces the main concept of 'clinging' in Joshua 23. There are a Bible study questions at the end.

B. Clinging To The World (23:12-13)
    Or we will go more by feelings and by sight.  We will not think of what is right or wrong  but what “I like”.    
The basic meaning of cling is attraction and stickiness. In terms of the world's ways, a person is stuck to the world.  The customs and ways of the world can be yours, and will be yours without choosing (dead spiritually).  This is the natural attraction of our hearts that tantalize the flesh.  We push ‘me’ into first place as much as possible.  You would violate laws and customs to get your way if you could get away with it.  Fornication and adultery are just part of that life.  

One would become as bad as possible.  But laws from parents, religions and the government hold people back.  In the last times we should expect the lack of moral laws to increase people’s sin.  Few parents teach their children to lie, steal and betray for that would get mighty dangerous to have someone in your house like that.

Let’s notice that the Lord had already taken them out of that natural attraction.  One might say they didn’t have a choice in the desert; they had to go by His laws.  Some didn’t and paid for it with their lives.  But now that they are settled in their land; new scenes bring new temptations.  

Illustration: College for many are the most confusing times in life because one is encouraged to do those things which are right and proper.  You know what you see and hear are wrong to see and hear, but you still do listen to it. Satan wants to make you think you are the greatest and deserve every good thing.  

But God knows obedience isolates you from extreme sins and temptations.  For example, you decide to sleep in rather than go to church because it is boring and instead watch a  X-rated film.  The Lord wanted the Israelites to wipe out every nation so that His people would not be influenced by it.  If they determined to do that and to what degree they did determine to do that, they were blessed by not being able to compromise.  This reminds me of Satan’s good old lie to Eve which still seems to be most popular today.  

“Oh, there is nothing wrong with it.  They don’t want you to have a good time.  They don’t know better, but you do...”

Let’s notice the process.
    1) Go back (assuming you knew something from teaching; some don’t; many do).
Some of you are contemplating going back.  Some have already passed this road sign.  Don’t go any further.  Remember what good you are rejecting.  Know the foolishness of the world’s offers.
    2) Cling to the rest of these nations.   Or, do what everyone else does.  Fall to temptation.
Don’t accept their values and standards.  Don’t let your eye get caught.  don’t let someone flatter you about your car, job or house.  Sin brings disaster.
    3) Intermarry with them. Bind yourself to them and  their sins.  Mutual acceptance.
Marriage to a worldly person of course reveals your attraction to what the world offers.  But it also brings you down another step.  Many Christians think they can handle the worldliness of a non-Christian boyfriend or girlfriend, but what they do not know is that they have pledged their heart to this person and will find no decent way out of many sins.  And they go lower and they take their friend lower.  It is a life contract stating I do not want the Lord but  the world.
    4) Trouble, thorns, snares, traps from the Lord.Sin brings disaster.  Look around.  We see people who have prided themselves that they have everything together.  We used to envy a person because they seemed to have everything.  Then they fell - marriage broken, betrayed by girlfriend, drinking and lost of job.  But instead of getting wise, we stand drooling to jump in his spot!  God will bring every Christian who goes away from Him back or otherwise just kill them.  But frankly, we are overly hopeful for backsliders.  Yes, a Christian can backslide, but they will have a terrible time doing it.  I would guess that the greater percentage that drift away are not at all Christians.  

Next: Joshua 23:14-16 Making a Choice

Clinging to the Lord (Joshua 23)

Reaching Beyond Mediocrity (Joshua 10:1-43)
– The Day the Sun Stood in the Sky –
Skepticism and Higher Bible Criticism
Joshua 10:12-14 Interpretations of the 'Sun stood in the sky.'
Joshua 10:12-14 Purpose of Recording the Miracle
Joshua 10:1-11: A. Joshua's Sincere Obedience
Joshua 10:12-43: B. Joshua's Quest for God's Best
Joshua 10:1-43: Bible Study Questions
Mobilizing God's People (Joshua 1:10-18)
Joshua 1:10-18: Introduction to Moblizing God's People
Joshua 1:10-11: A. Communicates God’s Will
Joshua 1:12-15: B. Demands Total Participation
Joshua 1:16-18: C. Responds With A Clear Commitment
Joshua 1:10-18: Bible Study Questions
Finishing the Task (Joshua 13:1-33)
Joshua 13: Introduction: 3 Unexplainables
Joshua 13:1 Passes on the Vision
Joshua 13:2-5 Knows the Need
Joshua 13:6 Lives by Faith
Joshua 13:7-33 Distributes the Responsibility
Joshua 13:1-33 Bible Study Questions
Victory over Strongholds (Joshua 6:1-27)
Joshua 6:1-27 The Lesson from Jericho
Joshua 6:1 Our Need for God's Power
Joshua 6:2-5 Our Discovery of God's Solutions
Joshua 6:6-27 Our Participation in God's Victory
Joshua 6:1-27 Summary: You can win too!
Joshua 6:1-27_Bible_Study_Questions
Effectively Dealing with Defeat & Despair (Joshua 7:1-15)
Joshua 7:1-15: Learning about Defeat and Failures
Joshua 7:1-5: Falling into Failure
Joshua 7:6-10: Staying in Disgrace
Joshua 7:11-15: Road to Recovery
Joshua 7:1-15: Bible Study Questions

 BFF Homepage  | Top | Back | Bible Topics | Joshua intro | Joshua 23 Questions | Next

Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Rev. Paul J. Bucknell