And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
Joshua 24:16, 19
The people of Israel have arrived. God brought them to the promised land and they have conquered their enemies. In their irrational exuberance they say that they will never betray God. Little did they know that they would soon have to eat those words.
But Joshua correctly discerned their confidence as pride. He knew how serious this obligation was and how ill-equipped the people were for the task. The people were sunshine Jews. They followed God when it was pleasurable but when hard times came they folded up like lawn chairs.
Jesus had to deal with the same problem during His earthly ministry. After He fed the 5,000 and walked on water in John 6 He admonished the crowd because they only followed Him to feed their bellies. They wanted to make Him king but they were not interested in the kingdom which He inaugurated.
We should therefore be careful about thinking that it is easy to serve God, especially when we are in a season of peace. It is impossible to please God without the power of the Holy Spirit helping us. Had Israel paid closer attention they would have learned this lesson from their teacher, the Law.
What’s worse is if we who have the Old Testament do not learn from its examples and repeat the same mistakes. As Paul warns us:
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12
Don’t ever forget that you need the grace of God to serve Him just as much as you need it to breathe. That power is no less essential and every bit as available to you and me.
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue
2 Peter 1:2, 3