Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 139

God Faithfully Fulfills His Promises, May 12

Ye have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the Lord your God is he that hath fought for you. Joshua 23:3.

The wars of conquest ended, Joshua had withdrawn to the peaceful retirement of his home at Timnath-serah.... The Lord had impressed His faithful servant to do as Moses had done before him—to recapitulate the history of the people, and call to mind the terms that the Lord had made with them when He gave them His vineyard.

Several years had passed since the people had settled in their possessions, and already could be seen cropping out the same evils that had heretofore brought judgments upon Israel. As Joshua felt the infirmities of age stealing upon him, he was filled with anxiety for the future of his people. It was with more than a father's interest that he addressed them, as they gathered once more about him.... Although the Canaanites had been subdued, they still possessed a considerable portion of the land promised to Israel, and Joshua exhorted the people not to settle down at ease and forget the Lord's commands to utterly dispossess these idolatrous nations....

Joshua appealed to the people themselves as witnesses that, so far as they had complied with the conditions, God had faithfully fulfilled His promises to them.... Satan deceives many with the plausible theory that since God's love for His people is so great, He will excuse sin in them; that while the threatenings of God's Word are to serve a certain purpose in His moral government, they are never to be literally fulfilled. But in His dealings with His creatures, God has maintained the principles of righteousness by revealing sin in its true character—by demonstrating that its sure result is misery and death. The unconditional pardon of sin never has been and never will be. Such pardon would show the abandonment of the principles of righteousness that are the very foundation of the government of God....

God has faithfully pointed out the results of sin, and if these warnings are not true, how can we be sure that His promises will be fulfilled? That so-called benevolence, which would set aside justice, is not benevolence, but weakness....

After presenting the goodness of God toward Israel, Joshua called upon the people, in the name of Jehovah, to choose whom they would serve.... Joshua desired to lead them to serve God, not by compulsion, but willingly. Love to God is the very foundation of religion. To engage in His service merely from the hope of reward or the fear of punishment would avail nothing. Open apostasy would not be more offensive to God than hypocrisy and mere formal worship.—Manuscript 135, 1899 (The Youth's Instructor, June 13, 1901; The Youth's Instructor, June 20, 1901).

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