6-15 (To read this
text in the New Living Translation, click here)
Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the
land allotted to them.
the Israelites served the Lord
throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had
seen all the great things the Lord
had done for Israel. Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord
, died at the age of 110. They buried him in the land he had been allocated, at
in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge
the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
The Israelites did evil in the Lord's
sight and served the images of Baal.
abandoned the Lord, the God of
their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods,
worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the
Lord. They abandoned the
Lord to serve Baal and the images
made the Lord burn with anger
against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions.
He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to
resist them. Every time Israel went out to battle, the
Lord fought against them, causing
them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great
I have this thought to share
with you this morning --- too many people think that the Bible is obsolete and
outdated. They believe that since it was written thousands of years ago,
it does not have any bearing in today's world. I want to assure you that
God's Word is a living word. It does not get old, and it does not have
pages of outdated literature. Therefore, when we read of something that
took place in the Old Testament, we should not dismiss it as being for a
different people or a different time. The entire word of God is real.
We would be well served to pour ourselves back into the "Word of God" so that
the "God of the Word" would bless us today.
We read about a scene that
happened after the Children of Israel entered into the Land of Promise.
Moses had died without entering the Promised land and Joshua had become the
people's leader. Joshua let them go to the land god had promised Abraham
many years before.
Something curious happened
after Joshua and the elders died. Scripture reads that the people forsook
the Lord. As long as there was a Godly man in position, the people heeded
to the voice of the Lord; but when there was no Godly person in control the
people would perish. Soon they began to worship other gods. Before
long a generation died. I wonder how close we are to a dead generation!
Are we the only generation close to God on this earth and are we about to lose
our next generation? Some say, "No; it can't happen that way. We
have too many Bibles and too many churches. This can't be the generation
that forsakes the Lord!" I have sad news for you -- we have already
started the process. It will not happen over night and it may not fully
happen in our lifetime; but, if the United States of America continues to go
down the slithery slump we are on now, we will soon see the last generation who
If this is the last
generation that knows God, then what?
The first thing that happens
is the people forsake God. The children of Israel didn't forget God; they
abandoned God. They abandoned obedience; they abandoned righteousness; and
they abandoned the will of God. When people abandon God they will run to
other things to fill that void spot in their lives. They will seek drugs,
alcohol, and unrighteous living. Yet, they will never find anything to
fill that unique void until they return to the Lord. I have to ask this
question, "How long will God allow a generation to continue if they have
abandoned His will?"
The second thing that happens
is people try to omit God. Today our government is trying in every way to
omit God from our nation. God is no longer allowed in the federal
buildings throughout this land. People are no longer allowed to pray
openly at sports events or graduations. Our schools are no longer starting
their day with a text read from the Bible. Now people are trying to take
God's name out of our Pledge of Allegiance. On our currency is written,
"In God We Trust." Have you seen the new gold dollar coins? "In God
We Trust" is written around the rim of that dollar in small letters that are
hard to find. Where does a coin start to wear first? You got it --
around the rim. The Washington Monument went through some renovations and
remodeling recently and guess what? They "forgot" to put the word God back
on the monument. How convenient is that?
The third thing that happens
is people try to replace God. Why is it that no one gets in an uproar when
the Muslim faith is mentioned in school or at events? Truth is people
don't care who you worship as long as it isn't the true God. In the last
five years we have seen wave after wave after wave of nuts trying to disprove
the Bible. If they can disprove the Bible, they can disprove God; if they
can disprove God they can disprove His Son Jesus. There are thousands of
religions and they all would have you believe they are the right way to get to
God. But God says, "I am a jealous God." Read Exodus 20:1-7.
You cannot replace God. He must either be your one true God or no God at
You say, "Preacher, I agree
that people are trying to replace God, but what do we do?" Joshua 24:14-15
has the answer: Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and
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. 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.
The way of the cross came
with a cost. However, the debt to pay is no longer mine. It was paid
for me through the blood of the sinless Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. He paid
it all. There is no other way except through the Lord Jesus Christ.
As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.
JR. Fields, Pastor
June 22, 2008