约书亚记 23

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1 耶和华使以色列人安静,不与四围的一切仇敌争战,已经多日。约书亚年纪老迈,

2 就把以色列众人的长老、族长、审判,并长都召了,对他们:我年纪已经老迈。

3 耶和华─你们的因你们的缘故向那些国所行的一切事,你们亲眼见了,因那为你们争战的是耶和华─你们的

4 我所剪除和所剩下的各国,从约但河起到日落之处的,我已经拈阄分给你们各支派为业。

5 耶和华─你们的必将他们从你们面前赶出去,使他们离开你们,你们就必得他们的地为业,正如耶和华─你们的所应许的。

6 所以,你们要大大壮胆,谨守遵行摩西律法上的一切话,不可偏离左右。

7 不可与你们中间所剩下的这些国民搀杂。他们的,你们不可提他的名,不可指着他起誓,也不可事奉、叩拜;

8 只要照着你们到今日所行的,专靠耶和华─你们的

9 因为耶和华已经把又又强的国民从你们面前赶出;直到今日,没有一在你们面前站立得住。

10 你们必追赶,因耶和华─你们的照他所应许的,为你们争战。

11 你们要分外谨慎,耶和华─你们的

12 你们若稍微转去,与你们中间所剩下的这些国民联络,彼此结亲,互相往

13 你们要确实知道耶和华─你们的必不再将他们从你们眼前赶出;他们却要成为你们的网罗、机槛、肋上的鞭、眼中的刺,直到你们在耶和华─你们所赐的这美地上灭亡。

14 我现在要走世人必走的。你们是意的知道耶和华─你们所应许赐福与你们的没有句落空,都应验在你们身上了。

15 耶和华─你们所应许的一切福气怎样临到你们身上,耶和华也必照样使各样祸患临到你们身上,直到把你们从耶和华─你们所赐的这美地上除灭。

16 你们若违背耶和华─你们吩咐你们所守的约,去事奉别,叩拜他,耶和华的怒气必向你们发作,使你们在他所赐的美地上速速灭亡。

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Exploring the Meaning of Joshua 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.

Swedenborg

Výklad(y) nebo odkazy ze Swedenborgových prací:

属天的奥秘 1664, 2575

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