Having served his nation faithfully, Joshua at the close of his life delivered his soul to the people in an earnest exhortation, the spirit of which as much needs pressing home upon believers now as in his day—
The sight of the judgments of God upon the ungodly should have a salutary influence upon us, and the remembrance of the Lords mercy to us should bind us for ever to him.
This had been the command of the Lord to himself the music of it was. not out of his ears, and therefore he used the selfsame words to the people. Language which has acted powerfully upon our own hearts we fondly hope will have the like effect upon others.
He commends them as well as commands them. A little judicious praise makes men all the readier to hear. Separation from sinners was Joshua’s lesson, and it is one which is not stale or needless at this time.
Sin is weakness. Love to God gives us the strength of God.
Marriage with the ungodly is expressly mentioned, because it is a frequent and deadly snare. It has done more mischief in the church of God than tongue can tell. It is the wolf which devours the lambs.
Note from this verse that any sins in our own hearts which we do not resolutely drive out will become our plague and scourge. Think of “thorns in the eyes.” No man can have peace while he is at peace with any sin. Can a man carry coals in his bosom and not be burned?
Joshua 23:14, 15
God’s faithfulness to his promises leaves us no room to doubt his equal faithfulness to his threatenings. He is a true God, both in mercy and in justice. We had need be carefully obedient, for the Lord is in earnest in every word he utters.