Joshua 22 verse 5
But be very careful to keep the commandments and the law that Moses the servant of God gave you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
1 To love the Lord your God. – This is the only motivation for obedience. Obedience is far easier when you love someone. To love the Lord is at the heart of all God’s commandments. To love the Lord and our neighbour in fact fulfils the law and the prophets. Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ”You shall not commit adultery,“ ”You shall not murder,“ ”You shall not steal,“ ”You shall not bear false witness,“ ”You shall not covet,“ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ”You shall love your neighbour as yourself.“ Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.
Love keeps people from just conforming to a standard. Love is required to really transform our hearts. It is no coincidence that love is put at the front of this list. To serve God we must first love Him. Jesus spoke concerning the importance of loving the Lord and our neighbour. Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “This is the first and great commandment. ”And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
2 To Walk in His Ways. – 3 To keep His commandments. – This speaks of lifestyle. To walk refers to the way we live. Our journey through life is made up of many steps. It is many of these individual steps that make up our lives. Psalm 37:23 says, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in His way. The man who serves the Lord seeks to walk, or live, in God’s ways. This involves keeping His commands. The word keep is the same one in v. 2 and 3. It is the same word translated take careful heed at the beginning of this verse. It is not enough to know God’s word or even believe it. They must obey it.
4 To hold fast to Him. – This speaks of devotion to God. The word hold fast means to cling to or to cleave, it speaks of loyalty and affection. Joshua uses this word in the next chapter. Joshua 23:11-12 Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God. “Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations — these that remain among you — and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you, They must not to forsake the Lord by giving their loyalty to the remnant of the nations left. This was repeated by Moses a number of times to avoid unequall yoking between believers and non believers in Deuteronomy. They must hold fast to Him and stay in close fellowship with the Lord.
5 To serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul. This was a part of the law that Moses rehearsed to Israel in Deuteronomy 6:4-6. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! ”You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. God requires total commitment from His servants. He doesn’t want a part of us. We must serve Him with all our heart and soul and strength. This of course ties in with loving God. The word serve here carries the idea of being a bondservant or voluntary slave. It also carries the idea of worship with this. They were to obey the Lord as His servants and worship only Him. After all the Lord was their master. He alone had redeemed them from bondage in Egypt. Moses is referred to as the Lord’s servant 3 times in this passage. Moses was a great man of God because he was a servant. They would do well to follow his example.
Joshua remembered their past faithfulness. But he also reminded them of the need for future faithfulness. We do need to be encouraged in our Christian faith. But this must be balanced with the challenge to persevere. They probably knew these things, but reminding them would be a safegaurd to them. We so easily forget. 2 Peter 3:1-2 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, This would start with love for the Lord. From there godly living and faithful service would flow naturally. Is your service motivated by love or guilt? Do you walk in obedience to God’s commands? Are you clinging to him? Or have people or other things taken you away from serving the Lord? Are you serving the Lord wholeheartedly or only reluctantly