约书亚记 23

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1 约书亚的遗言

2 约书亚就把全体以色列人、他们的长老、首领、审判长,都召了,对他们:“我已经老了,年纪不小了。

3 耶和华你们的,因你们的缘故,向那些国家所行的一切事,你们都亲眼见了;因为耶和华你们的为你们作战。

4 你们,剩下来的这些国家,连同我剪除的列国,从约旦河起,直到日落之处的,我都按着你们各支派,用抽签的方式,分给你们作产业了。

5 耶和华你们的必把他们从你们面前赶出去,驱逐他们离开你们,你们就必得着他们的地作产业,正如耶和华你们的所应许的。

6 所以你们要十分坚强,谨守遵行摩西律法上的一切话,使你们不偏向左,不偏向右;

7 使你们不与你们中间剩下的这些国家的人往;他们的名字,你们不可提,不可指着他们起誓,不可事奉他们,也不可敬拜他们;

8 只要照着你们一直以来所行的,紧紧倚靠耶和华你们的

9 因为耶和华已经把又又强的列国从你们面前赶出去;至于你们,直到今日,还没有一能在你们面前站立得住。

10 你们可以追赶,因为耶和华你们的,照着他应许你们的,为你们作战。

11 你们自己要十分谨慎,耶和华你们的

12 如果你们转离耶和华,与你们中间剩下的这些国家的余民联络,和他们通婚,互相往,

13 你们就必知道耶和华你们的必不再把这些国家从你们面前赶出去;他们必要成为你们的网罗和陷阱,肋下的鞭和眼中的刺,直到你们从耶和华你们的你们的这美地上灭亡为止。

14 “看哪,我今天要走世人必经的了。你们清清楚楚(“清清楚楚”原文作“意”)知道耶和华你们的应许赐福给你们的,没有句落空;完全应验在你们身上,没有句落空。

15 耶和华你们的应许你们的一切福气怎样临到你们身上,耶和华也必照样使各样的灾祸临到你们身上,直到把你们从耶和华你们的你们的这美地上消灭为止。

16 如果你们违背了耶和华你们的吩咐你们遵守的约,去事奉别的,敬拜他们,耶和华必向你们大发烈怒,使你们从他赐你们的美地上迅速灭亡。”


Exploring the Meaning of 约书亚记 23      

Napsal(a) Rev. Julian Duckworth

Joshua 23: Joshua’s farewell address to all Israel.

Now that the people of Israel are living in the land of Canaan according to the Lord’s promise to them, Joshua, now old, gathers Israel together and offers the people his final words. It is a review of God’s faithfulness to them, His power in their victories, the gift of a good land in which they may live, and finally, a warning: they must not turn away from the Lord and follow the gods of other nations, or the Lord’s anger will follow them.

The spiritual meaning of Joshua’s address is about our experience of the Lord’s activity in our lives, our responsibilities in the work of regeneration, and what happens in us when we drift away from our relationship with the Lord. Every part of Joshua’s speech touches on these subjects, and it is a shining statement for our spiritual well-being. We will look at each part of what Joshua says and their spiritual meanings.

Joshua called for all Israel, and for all of their leaders - their elders, their heads, their judges and their officers. Spiritually, what leads and commands our mind is what we hold as true, which then informs our actions.

Joshua says he is old and advanced in age. Spiritually, this stands for acquiring wisdom during regeneration. Perhaps ‘advanced’, with its range of meanings, is a clue here.

Then Joshua turns to the Lord and the conquest. Joshua reminds the Israelites of what the Lord has given them, and says that the Lord will help them drive out the remaining nations until the whole land is theirs. Spiritually, this is about the ways in which the Lord guides us through regeneration, and how He will be present in our continuing spiritual work.

Joshua then urges Israel to keep the law of Moses and not turn away from it, nor go among other nations who are alongside Israel, nor mention their gods, nor swear by them or serve them or bow down to them. For us, this means following the Lord, and not giving in to the other influences that could lead our lives - for example, greed or ambition. If we do give thought to these other things, they can entrap us. It is enough for us to see them in our mind and quickly refuse their place there.

Joshua then says that because the Lord has been fighting for Israel, no one has been able to stand against them. In verse 10, he says, “One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.” This means when we acknowledge that the Lord rules our life and empowers us, the influences of hell will be powerless against our resolve.

Joshua then tells Israel that if they do turn to the other nations and their gods, the Lord would no longer drive out these nations, and they would become snares and traps for Israel. This is about the spiritual consequences of going against the Lord. This will inevitably bring on its own dangers, and we can be drawn in without realizing. The Lord can only drive out our spiritual enemies when we turn to Him for guidance.

Finally, Joshua says that not one thing God intended for Israel has failed to happen; so, just as God had given Israel many blessings, He would bring harm on Israel if they grew unfaithful. In our spiritual lives, this is only how things appear. We may feel that God is punishing us at times, but in reality we bring harm on ourselves when we no longer follow the Lord. So, Joshua says, the good land would be taken from them, just as the delight of heavenly life is taken from us if we turn away from the Lord.

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