Faithful Servants, Remain Faithful
Stephen Caswell © 1999
Faithful Servants, Remain Faithful
British Paints Add
On T.V. once in a while you get an add or series of adds that gets peoples attention.
One such series were the adds that Ray Burgess did for Berger Paints.
They were quite clever because in the end they didn't say the final line, everyone knew.
/Berger Paints keep on keeping on!
/The manufacturer claimed their product would last.
It was not some product here today and gone tomorrow.
Berger Paints were dependable.
The Lord is looking for this from His people.
*/He is looking for Faithful Servants who will remain faithful!/*
They will cling to Him all their lives like good paint sticks to a wall.
/Do we keep on, keeping on?/
The conquest of the land of Canaan had ended.
God had divided the land to the 12 tribes through Joshua and Eleazar the high priest.
Last week we saw cites of refuge appointed throughout the land.
The Levites received 48 cities and their surrounding pasture lands.
The conquest was now complete and the land had rest from war.
The 12 tribes were now responsible to finish off the remaining Canaanites in their own inheritance.
Since the conquest was complete, Joshua dismissed the 2 1~/2 tribes from the east side of the Jordan River.
They could return to their families and enjoy their own inheritance.
Today we will observe their dismissal from service.
There are four main points I would like to observe regarding them.
*Joshua 22:1-2* /Then Joshua called the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, and said to them: “You *have kept* all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and *have obeyed* my voice in all that I commanded you.
”You *have not left* your brethren these many days, up to this day, but *have kept* the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.
/ // /
Joshua remembered the service of the 2 1~/2 tribes from Transjordan.
The Reubenites, Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh /had kept/ the Lord’s commands.
Here Joshua reflected back on the charge originally given by Moses.
Joshua confirmed the same charge when the Lord commissioned him in chapter 1:12-16.
Note in these verses /you have kept all, have obeyed, have not left, have kept./
This highlights the way they completely followed the Lord’s commands.
They had done all that was required of them.
Joshua was pleased with their service and praised them here for their faithfulness.
They didn't leave their brethren, they finished the task.
They had served their brethren well.
They had stuck to the task even though they were away from their families for 7 years.
That is quite a commitment!
They devoted themselves to the task at hand and put on hold their own inheritance.
In these verses we see that they obey Moses and Joshua.
Then we are told they kept the commandment of the Lord.
To obey God’s appointed leaders is seen as obeying God.
Obedience to God’s commands always brings blessing.
This is a theme that runs right through the book of Joshua.
*Joshua 22:3-4 */“And now the LORD your God *has given rest* to your brethren, as He *promised* them; *now therefore, return* and go to your tents and to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.
/God promised to give Israel the land of Canaan.
The conquest took seven long years, but now it was over.
God had given them rest just as He said that He would.
Joshua had promised the 2 1~/2 tribes 7 years earlier that they would return to their possession after their brethren had received rest.
This had now come to pass.
So Joshua dismissed the 2 1~/2 Transjordan tribes with honour.
He told them to return to their own homes, their own families, their own possession.
They had fulfilled their task and were now free to enjoy God’s inheritance.
Obedience always leads to blessing.
They could now have their promised rest.
The 2 1~/2 tribes had kept their word to Moses and helped their brethren.
Joshua praised them for this.
I thank the Lord for His faithful servants here in this church.
Some have sacrificed much for the Lord’s work.
When the Lord saves people, He puts them into service.
Sometimes the Lord calls people into a special area of service in the church.
He touches your heart about a special need and you respond in service.
/Has God called you to such a ministry?
Have you been faithful and stuck to the task?
/All believers are called to service.
All have been commissioned to be Christ's witnesses.
All believers have received spiritual gifts to use in the church./
Are you faithful to this commission?
Are you using your spiritual gifts?* */God promises to bless obedience!/
*Firstly we have seen how Joshua remembered their past faithful service and praised them.
*/Secondly he gave a/** Reminder*
*Joshua 22:5* /” But *take careful heed* to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, *to love* the LORD your God, *to walk* in all His ways, *to keep* His commandments, *to hold fast* to Him, and *to serve* Him with all your heart and with all your soul.“/
We all need encouragement along the way.
But we also should be told not to rest on our laurels.
After Joshua had praised them for their faithful service, he reminded them to keep going the same way.
The word */commanded/* or*/ commandment/* is used 6 times in the first 5 verses.
The first three occurrences say that they had kept God’s commandment.
In the next 3 uses they are challenged to keep them in the future.
They must continue the same way they started.
The words translated */take careful heed/*/ /in verse 5 comes from the same root word as */have kept/* in verses 2-3.
The word */take careful heed/*, means /to keep oneself, on peril of your life.
/Joshua was concerned that these 2 1~/2 tribes remain faithful to the Lord as they had been in the past.
Joshua was concerned for them because the Jordan River did separate them in a very significant way.