The Blessing of Living in This Land
In Joshua 23, Joshua calls together the people of Israel to urge them and caution them with one supreme exhortation: “For Jehovah hath driven out from before you great nations and strong; but as for you, no man hath stood before you unto this day...Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love Jehovah your God” (Joshua 23:9,11).
Israel should understand they were not given possession of this land to live the same unholy, idolatrous life as those whom they destroyed. They were to be separated and distinct among all people that live on the earth. The same high calling is for the people of God today.
God has assigned the kingdom of God to be holy and peculiar in an unrighteous world by elevating their lives to a high moral standard. The elect of God are to live in the world but not of the world. With such godly character, they have the promise of live that now is and of that which is to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
The exhortation Joshua gives is followed by a sanction in Joshua 23:12,13: “If ye do at all go back..., and to in unto them, and they to you; know for a certainty that Jehovah your God will no more drive these nations from out of our sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap unto you, and a scourge in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which Jehovah your God hath given you.”
The significance of this warning is in the punishment given if Israel fails to love Jehovah. The ungodly nations with whom they develop an alliance will bring them to destruction. This fulfills a great truth that sin brings its own punishment. “It brings forth death” (James 1:15). Every time Israel entered into a pact with a heathen nation, it fell under then hand of the heathen...
Whenever a Christian aligns himself with the world, the world will entangle, corrupt, and destroy him (2 Peter 2:20-22). In the words of Hosea 7:9, “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not...” When worldliness envelops a Christian, it takes the spiritual power away from the church. Godliness is halted. Purity is abased. Faith is forsaken. Righteousness is diminished.
The land in which we live is not a “promised land,” but is a land where the same exhortation and warnings Joshua gave Israel hold true for the Christian. “Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), and the “holy nation” of God’s elect who live in this country, this land, should remember they are bought with a price to glorify God in their bodies and given the blessing of freedom to live godly, righteously, and soberly, and not as the rest of the heathen (1 Corinthians 6:19,20; 1 Peter 2:9,10).