Joshua 23

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1 Ja see sündis kaua aega pärast seda, kui Issand oli Iisraelile rahu andnud kõigist nende vaenlastest ümberkaudu, ja kui Joosua oli jäänud vanaks ning elatanuks,

2 et Joosua kutsus kogu Iisraeli, selle vanemad, peamehed, kohtumõistjad ja ülevaatajad, ja ütles neile: 'Mina olen jäänud vanaks ja elatanuks.

3 Aga te olete ise näinud kõike, mida Issand, teie Jumal, on teie silma ees teinud kõigile neile rahvaile, sest Issand, teie Jumal, on ise sõdinud teie eest.

4 Vaadake, ma olen liisu läbi lasknud teile osaks saada, pärisosaks teie suguharudele need rahvad, kes on alles jäänud kõigist rahvaist, kelle ma olen hävitanud Jordanist kuni suure mereni päikeseloojaku pool.

5 Issand, teie Jumal, hajutab need teie eest ja ajab need ära teie eest, ja te pärite nende maa, nagu Issand, teie Jumal, teile on öelnud.

6 Olge siis hästi kindlad pidama ja tegema kõike, mis Moosese Seaduse raamatus on kirjutatud, kaldumata sellest paremale või vasakule,

7 heitmata nende rahvaste hulka, kes teie juurde on alles jäänud; te ei tohi suhu võtta nende jumalate nimesid ega nende juures vanduda, ega neid teenida ega neid kummardada,

8 vaid peate hoidma Issanda, oma Jumala poole, nagu te seda olete teinud tänapäevani!

9 Sellepärast on Issand teie eest ära ajanud suured ja vägevad rahvad ja ükski ei ole suutnud seista teie ees kuni tänapäevani.

10 Üksainus mees teie hulgast ajas taga tuhandet, sest Issand, teie Jumal, sõdis ise teie eest, nagu ta teile oli öelnud!

11 Olge siis hästi valvel oma hingede pärast, armastades Issandat, oma Jumalat!

12 Aga kui te ometi taganete ja hoiate nende rahvaste jäägi poole, kes teie juurde on alles jäänud, ja saate nendega langudeks ja ühinete nendega ja nemad teiega,

13 siis teadke kindlasti, et Issand, teie Jumal, ei aja enam ära neid rahvaid teie eest ja nemad saavad teile paelaks ja püüniseks, piitsaks teie külgedele ja okkaks teie silmadesse, kuni te hävite sellelt healt maalt, mille Issand, teie Jumal, teile on andnud!

14 Vaata, mina lähen nüüd kogu maailma teed. Aga teie mõistke kogu südame ja hingega, et ei ole langenud tühja ainsatki sõna kõigist neist headest sõnadest, mis Issand, teie Jumal, teile on rääkinud: kõik on teil täide läinud, ei ole neist ainsatki langenud tühja.

15 Ja nõnda nagu teil täide läksid kõik need head sõnad, mis Issand, teie Jumal, teile rääkis, nõnda saadab Issand teil täide ka kõik need kurjad sõnad, kuni ta teid on hävitanud sellelt healt maalt, mille Issand, teie Jumal, teile on andnud.

16 Kui te rikute oma Jumala lepingut, mille ta teiega tegi, ja lähete ning teenite teisi jumalaid ja kummardate neid, siis süttib Issanda viha põlema teie vastu ja te kaote kiiresti sellelt healt maalt, mille ta teile on andnud.'


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.

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