SCRIPTURE: Joshua 22:1-5
The Israelites, under the leadership of Joshua, entered the Promised Land, but not without many battles. Two and a half tribes (the Reubenites, Gadites and half tribe of Manasseh) which chose to settle on the east side of the Jordan had joined arms with the rest of the tribes in the conquest of the land of Canaan. When the battles were over Joshua sent them home, but not without some words of admonishment.
THINK ABOUT THIS:
“You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you. You have not left your brethren and have kept the charge of the commandments of the LORD your God. And now the LORD has given rest to your brethren…therefore now return, get to your tents and to your land of your possession which Moses gave you on the other side of Jordan.” Josh. 22:2-4
These two and a half tribes did their part in serving with their brothers in the battles; they were faithful warriors. Conquering the land wasn’t an easy job even though God was with them and gave them victory. Now they were headed home; they could rest. The very first word of the next verse is very important. It is simply, “But.” It’s like a red flag. They have been fighting battles; they have won. Their weapons have been put away. Joshua exhorts them:
“But take diligent heed to do the commandments and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments, and to cleave to Him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” v. 5
Many times when we have struggled with some sort of a battle in our life and have finally experienced victory; we feel like we are on the mountain top with arms raised thinking, “I’ve made it!” It can be so easy to let our guard down and slide (perhaps ever so slowly) from trusting the Lord and continuing to rely on Him to our own resources. That’s why the word “But” is so important.
Joshua said, “But take diligent heed…” v. 5
obey the commandments
love the Lord God
walk in his ways
cleave to Him
serve him with all your heart and soul
Satan wants us to relax and quit; but we need to be alert and keep fighting.
Remember these words and ask yourself if you are “diligently” pursuing them. Victories are wonderful, but don’t let your guard down–there are more battles around the corner.
We need to take “diligent heed” in our walk with the Lord.