As I was assembling the verses that stood out to me in today’s reading, I noticed something about them once they were are on the same page. While I often write with a particular “theme” in mind, I do so as I’m led by the Spirit, so verses come to me as I write. Today, however, I’m going to do something a little differently. I’m going to present the verses as a group and then discuss them.

I’ll be covering some verses from Joshua 23,24 and Psalm 44. Joshua 23 and 24 are the last two books of Joshua. In them, Joshua is summarizing what the Lord has done so far. The main point behind his summary is that he’s going to die, and the Israelites will be left without one person to guide them. Up until now, they followed Moses and Joshua. Joshua wants them to remember it was God who has brought them to where they are and that they should continue to follow Him. 

Psalm 44 is believed to be a Psalm of David and also talks about the Israelites’ entry into the Promised Land.

The Verses

You yourselves have seen everything the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the Lord your God who fought for you.

Joshua 23:3 (NIV) 

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

Joshua 24:14 (NIV)

“Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”

Joshua 24:23 (NIV)

In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.

Psalm 44:8 (NIV)

It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.

Psalm 44:3 (NIV)

I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.

Psalm 44:6-7 (NIV)

Themes

When you read these verses do you see any particular theme in them? What originally stood out to me was that the Israelites had foreign gods among them before the death of Joshua, and he knew about it (cf. Joshua 24:14,23). This reminds me of something our Lord said in Luke.

“For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Luke 23:31 (NIV)

If the people are already holding onto false gods while Joshua is with them, how will they behave once he’s dead? We see how terrible things become in Judges. 

In Psalm 44:3,6-7, we see the notion that the victory the Psalmist writes about didn’t come from their own hands. It wasn’t the sword or bow. It was God who did it. We see something similar in Joshua 23:3, “it was the Lord your God who fought for you.” 

The verse that connected these other verses today, and if I may be so bold, reveals where so many people can fall, is Psalm 44:8.

In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.

Psalm 44:8 (NIV)

It wasn’t the foreign gods or their own hands that brought the Israelites victory, and it’s not our hands or anything else that we do that brings us the victory we have in Christ. However, whatever we give credit to is what we think did it. We can say we follow Christ, just as the Israelites swore to follow the Lord, but holding onto false gods proved that they hadn’t fully surrendered their hearts to God. Hence, Joshua’s admonishment to “yield” their hearts to God and throw away those foreign gods. 

I don’t know about you, but I think one impact the pandemic has had in my life is showing me who I rely upon. I used to think I had “security” in my life because of things like my job. The Lord’s shown me that the only security I have is found in him. That’s it. There’s nothing, and no one else, I can rely upon. I’ve also been reminded that we as Children of God, need to stop chasing after the things God has given us, and instead, chase after him.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.