Google+ 08/30/13 Fear Those That Don't Fear God!

Joshua 22:23-25

 

If we have built an altar for ourselves to turn away from the Lord 

Or to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or peace offerings, may the Lord himself punish us.

“The truth is, we have built this altar because we fear that in the future your descendants will say to ours,

‘What right do you have to worship the Lord, the God of Israel?

The Lord has placed the Jordan River as a barrier between our people and you people of Reuben and Gad.

You have no claim to the Lord.’

So your descendants may prevent our descendants from worshiping the Lord.

 

In part five of our seven-part devotion series entitled, "Whom Shall I Fear?" Joshua explains to God's people why they are taking time to stop and build an altar and worship God.  Joshua is speaking to two of the tribes that have been out of God's will.  Remember that when God gave the promised land to all His people, He separated Reuben and Gad from the other Jewish people with the Jordan River.  God put a physical barrier between His obedient people and those that had fallen away from God's message.  As a result, Joshua tells Reuben and Gad that they have no claim on God.  Joshua wanted to remove all temptation and obstacles that could affect those that were following God.  We need to hear and obey this warning.  Whom shall we fear?  We should fear all those that try to separate us from God.  Whenever possible, we should build an "altar" to worship God and make sure our children do not forget.  Even more important, we should separate ourselves from those that would pervert the Word of God.  In my many years of ministry, I can count, on one hand, the people who have actually proclaimed that they do not believe in God.  More often, these very same people just manipulate the Word of God for their folly and to match their lifestyle.  People from "Reuben and Gad," justify their actions by misleading others about the true meaning of Scripture.  When this kind of lifestyle manifests itself in churches, the misleading is dangerous and ominous.  After all, most people come to church expecting to hear the Word of God.  Many people are "Biblically illiterate," so some pastors think they can say anything and get away with it.  Their sermons are filled with many worldly stories and jokes, detracting from God's true meaning.  Don't get me wrong, I discovered a long time ago that God has a sense of humor!  But make no mistake that everything is not a joke, particularly at other people's expense.  Joshua knew this fact,  which is why he instructs God's people to worship and stay separated from those who chose to live a "Babylonian" life.  So as you walk through the world today, do what Joshua did.  "Fear Those That Don't Fear God!"