“Cling to the Lord”
Joshua 23:14-16
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.


C. Making Our Choice (23:14-16)    

We can follow the world (popular translation of ‘the nations’) or determine to hold to the Lord’s ways.  

Sometimes we may have good leaders, sometimes poor ones. Sometimes we ahve good governments and families; at other times we have bad ones.  But in the end, we still all must face the question, "Who are you going to cling?"  

The Lord has encouraged us in every way to follow Him.  Not one of His promises will fail. He convincingly reminds them of how He took care of them.

Having said that, you should still know that if you turn from the Lord, you will cling to the world.  And what you find pleasure in will dam you.“Cleaving to Yahweh describes the deep personal attachment that creates a new unity” (Hamlin, p. 187; Genesis 2:24;  Jeremiah 13:11).  

Summary  Application

You might think I have been talking only about our relationship with the Lord and not any other.  But this is a narrow understanding of what I have been saying.

Anytime your relationship with the Lord is good, your relationships with others are as fine as they can be at this point in time.  We cannot change others, but we can be changed for the better by God.    

Anytime you obey God’s Word, not only you will be blessed, but you will bring blessings to others.  How foolish to think we will make better friends with some if we stop coming to church.  The moment you leave God for the sake of a relationship, know you have committed idolatry.  God in time will crush that idol.    Anytime you love the Lord, you also love others.  The other option is to pollute your heart with some idol which has appreciation only for greed, adultery, lying and it rubs off on you.

Summary    Our relationships with others are dependent upon the relationship we have with God.  When we have learned loyalty, love, care, confession, good and proper behavior from God, they become important in all of our relationships.  That doesn’t make perfect relationships, but at least form your side, the best possible at that point in time.  When you cling to the Lord, we will be people who are dedicated by living under the new principle of love. 


Notes on the translation of Joshua 23:8-12

For some odd reason the translation, has been altered from its original sense.  Perhaps they use the phrase “to this day” to date the tenses, but the parallel “For if” in verses 8 and 12 along with the imperfect tenses seem to demnd the translations “will drive out” and “will put to flight” rather than treating them as past tenses (has driven out and has put to flight).  

If one uses the context, then one could refer to verse 13 as evidence that they still needed the Lord’s blessings to drive the enemy off from before them.

For if you cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day, the Lord will drive out the great and strong nations before you just as no man has stood before you up to this day.  One of your men will put to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you. (8-10)

For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you... “ (12-13). 

This structure would bring emphasis on the two choices.  They could do one or the other.  In fact, they would need to do the first otherwise they would do the other.


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

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

Rev. Paul J. Bucknell