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Binding Obstinately

Words of Faith Final

Binding Obstinately

Words of Faith 10-13-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 23

    [6] "Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. [7] Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. [8] But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.


         The concern of Joshua in his old age was that the Israelites might fall away from the Lord now that they were enjoying the peace and freedom that God had won for them.  Joshua passed on the very words that the Lord God had armed him with when He instructed him to cross the Jordan: Be strong; be careful to obey (1:6-9).  Courage and obedience were the qualities that led to the successful Conquest of Canaan, and they were no less essential now. 

         The word for "strong" means to fasten upon or seize, to bind to obstinately and fortify.  The call of Joshua was for a strengthening of faith during times of prosperity rather than a drifting of faith.  The word for obey means to build a thorny hedge about, guard and protect, observe, and attend to.  Through Joshua, the call of God was that the Israelites should bind themselves obstinately to Him and protect their relationship with Him at every cost.  What a powerful image!

         Specifically, Joshua dreaded Israel's possible conformity to the heathen nations around them.  For this reason, he forbade all contact and fraternization with those pagan nations.  He knew how easy it would be for his people to backslide step by step until they were seduced by the shrines of the pagan deities. 

         The text begs the question, how well are we binding ourselves to the Lord?  Are we fastened to and bound obstinately to the Lord and His ways?  Are we keeping safe from the cultures that surround us?

         The intrusions are all around. Popular media is saturated with sexuality and non-biblical behavior. Violence is not just a matter of movies and television; it is now the entertainment of choice through video gaming. School curricula often promote perspectives that are pointedly anti-faith and anti-Christian. Sadly, there is very little that counters these influences as Church and Sunday School classes are shut down and show to restart.

          We are way beyond the concerns of a “post-modern” world. We live in a culture that often seems to be at war with faith, freedom, and the Gospel. One answer is to not attend movies and cut off the TV.  But the truth is that Jesus calls us to be IN the world but not to be OF the world. 

        We really do not have the option of simply not associating with the pagan culture that surrounds us.  We are called to be a light in the darkness.  We are urged to be salty in a bland and decaying world.  A far better option than a boycott might be to watch a popular television show with teens and then discuss it thoroughly.

        Here is the question. How are you doing in the areas of strength and obedience?  Are you strongly fastened and obstinately fortified in your relationship with Jesus?  Are you willing to build a thorny hedge around the truth so that you can be IN the world but not OF the world?  Retreating is not the answer.  But neither is being absorbed into the pagan culture around us.


          Lord, help me in this careful walk of culture and climate.  Help me always to see You and to be faithful to Your ways.  Give me the strength to cling obstinately to You and Your Word.  Show me the hedges that need to built up and the walls that need to be torn down.  In Jesus' mighty Name.   


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2005, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.