Have you ever thought about what you would say, if given the opportunity to say your "last words" to your loved ones before your death? Most of us are too busy with the business of living to think about that, aren't we? All of us who are alive today have an opportunity today to pen those last words, if we wish to do so. It is just that ---- most of us don't do it because we always think we have more time.
I think that it is important to do that, although if you have lived your life transparently your loved ones already know "where you stand" and what your priorities are. It is also important to make the most of every day we are given, in service to our Lord and Savior.
In Joshua 23, Joshua tells the people that he will soon "go the way of all flesh". In other words, his own physical death is imminent. His faith in his God is so strong that he expresses no fear of what lies beyond the veil of his humanity. Instead, his concern is for his successors and his people, the people of Israel. Joshua goes beyond appointing a successor (with God's blessing, of course). That successor became the first "judge" of Israel (Judges 3:9). He was Othniel, who had married Joshua's daughter. (There was a blog post about this couple a few days ago: "Achsah's Request".)
In his farewell address, Joshua warns the Israelites to stay true to their Jehovah God. He pointed out that none of God's promises to the Israelites had failed. God had remained faithful to His people (23:14). Joshua emphasized that God would continue to shower prosperity on the Israelites, as long as the people remained faithful to Him, but if they abandoned Him they would suffer the loss of the Promised Land (23:12-13, 16).
Of course, those familiar with Hebrew history as revealed in the Old Testament know that spiritual adultery is exactly what happened. It is the tendency of human nature to rebel against God. People so badly want to "have it their own way", on their own terms, even though God in His divine Word makes it very clear that this is the pathway to failure. Sure enough, the Israelites went from "one of you routed a thousand" (23:10) over a period of 800 years to being taken captive by the Babylonians and hauled out of the Promised Land.
A sad and sobering tale, the story of the Israelites should serve as a dire warning to those of us who follow the Lord Jesus. I am very burdened over my own sin but also over the "crash and burn" being experienced by a young friend today. I do not know where she is or what types of behavior she is engaging in, although I fear the worst. I am praying for her and ask that you do so also.
When we devote ourselves to being His disciples, we too will "rout 1000" because He will use us to further His kingdom here on Earth and also in Heaven. Whether we see/realize the immediate results is immaterial (if you'll pardon the pun). So, remain faithful, dear friends. Encourage one another in the Lord.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, let's make it a "rout 1000" day!
Lord Jesus, empower all of us by Your Holy Spirit to live for you today - - our utmost for Your highest. Help us to remain faithful when temptations come our way. I pray earnestly for my young friend, who appears to be descending further and further into a downward spiral of evil and addiction. Please rescue and restore her! Please love on her, in her distress. Show her the way home. In Jesus' name, amen.