I am working through yesterday’s reading. It is powerful and marks the conclusion of another book – Joshua. You can listen to Max read it here.
I’ve noticed a great deal of references in this book concerning the temptation to serve other “gods”. I may do a separate post on just how many verses in Joshua mention other “gods”. And it’s amazing how well these chapters go together….spanning some 2000 years from Abraham to Jesus Christ. And it’s amazing that though much has changed in the next 2000 years how little has actually changed…. think about that.
Joshua 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.
Joshua 24:2 Gill
And Joshua said unto all the people,…. Then present, or to all Israel by their representatives:
thus saith the Lord God of Israel; he spoke to them in the name of the Lord, as the prophet did, being himself a prophet, and at this time under a divine impulse, and spirit of prophecy. According to an Arabic writer (w): the Angel of God appeared in the form of a man, and with a loud voice delivered the following, though they are expressed by him in a different manner; perhaps he mean, the Captain of the Lord’s host, Jos 15:13; and which is not unlikely:
your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time; on the offer side the, river Euphrates; so the Targum,”beyond Perat;”i.e. Euphrates; in Mesopotamia and Chaldea; meaning not the remotest of their ancestors, Noah and Shem, but the more near, and who are expressly named:
even Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor; the Israelites sprung from Terah, in the line of Abraham, on the father’s side, and from him in the line of Nachor on the mother’s side, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel, being of Nachor’s family:
and they served other gods; besides the true God, strange gods, which were no gods: “idols”; the idols of the people, as the Targum; so did Terah, Abraham, and Nachor; See Gill on Gen 11:26; See Gill on Gen 11:28; See Gill on Gen 12:1.
Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 35.
This reaches a high point in verse 15.
Jos 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Jos 24:16 And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
It’s interesting to read Jeremiah 13 in conjunction with the above background since this struggle will continue for 800 years.
Jeremiah 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
Jer 13:24 Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness.
Jer 13:25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
Jer 13:26 Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
Jer 13:27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
Curiously, after another 600 years in another time, the people still didn’t get it….going even so far to to crucify the LORD.
Act 4:5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
Act 4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.
Act 4:7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
Act 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
Act 4:9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
Act 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Act 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Act 4:16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
Act 4:17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
Act 4:18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Act 4:20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Act 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.
Act 4:22 For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.
Act 4:23 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
Act 4:24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
Act 4:25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
Act 4:26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Act 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,
Act 4:30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.
Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
The final Chapter in the reading…gives the complete picture in all it’s details.
Mat 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
Mat 27:2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Mat 27:17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
Mat 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
Mat 27:21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
Mat 27:22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
Mat 27:23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.