Joshua 23

1The Lord gave Israel peace from their enemies around them. The Lord made Israel safe. Many years passed, and Joshua became very old. 2At this time, Joshua called a meeting of all the older leaders, heads of families, judges, and officers of the people of Israel. Joshua said, “I have grown very old. 3You have seen the things that the Lord did to our enemies. He did this to help us. The Lord your God fought for you. 4Remember that I told you your people could have that land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. I promised to give you that land, but you don’t control it yet. 5But the Lord your God will force the people living there to leave. You will take that land. The Lord will force the people living there to leave! The Lord your God promised to do this for you. 6“You must be careful to obey all the things the Lord has commanded us. Obey everything that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses. Don’t turn away from that law. 7There are still some people living among us that are not people of Israel. Those people worship their own gods. Don’t become friends with those people. Don’t serve or worship their gods. 8You must continue to follow the Lord your God. You have done this in the past, and you must continue to do it. 9“The Lord helped you to defeat many great and powerful nations. The Lord forced those people to leave. No nation has been able to defeat you. 10With the Lord’s help, one man from Israel could defeat 1,000 enemy soldiers. Why? Because the Lord your God fights for you. The Lord promised to do this. 11So you must continue to love the Lord your God. 12“Don’t stop following the Lord. Don’t become friends with these other people that are not part of Israel. Don’t marry any of their people. But if you do become friends with these people, 13then the Lord your God will not help you to defeat your enemies. These people will become like a trap for you. They will cause you pain—like smoke and dust in your eyes. And you will be forced to leave this good land. The Lord your God gave you this land. But you can lose it if you don’t obey this command. 14“It is almost time for me to die. You know and truly believe that the Lord has done many great things for you. You know that he has not failed in any of his promises. The Lord has kept every promise that he has made to us. 15Every good promise that the Lord your God made to us has come true. But in the same way, the Lord will make his other promise come true. He promised that if you do wrong, then bad things will happen to you. He promised that he will force you to leave this good land that he gave you. 16This will happen if you refuse to keep your agreement with the Lord your God. You will lose this land if you go and serve other gods. You must not worship those other gods. If you do, the Lord will become very angry at you. Then you will quickly be forced to leave this good land that he gave you.”

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