Joshua called the leaders of the nation to come, and they came . He reminded them of how faithful God had been unto them. And he commanded them to be as faithful unto God.
11-12 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God. Else if ye do in any wise go back , and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
Joshua states the fatal consequences of going back; know for a certainty it will be your ruin. The first step would be, friendship with idolaters; the next would be, marrying with them; the end of that would be, serving their gods. Thus the way of sin is downhill, and those who have fellowship with sinners, cannot avoid having fellowship with sin. Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.
The first step backward is often in relationships. It begins in the mind, but our steps soon follow.
Romans 12 1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice , holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service . And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, Will of God.
Whatever we do to fit in with the world Is a step backward with God. James 4 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
11-12 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God. Else if ye do in any wise go back , and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you: We will cleave, either to God and His Way, Or to the world and their ways. You can't have it both ways!
13 Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you. Every choice brings results. Deuteronomy 30 19 … I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life , that both thou and thy seed may live:
14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth : and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof. Joshua knew that he was dying, and his only concern was for his people. Every good thing that God has said about you has come to pass. Remember this!
15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you; so shall the Lord bring upon you all evil things , until He have destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.
16 When ye have transgressed the Covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which He hath given unto you.
A Promise of God is a Promise, Be it for good or for ill. James 4 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. It is just as true that if we lift ourselves up in pride and arrogance, God will bring us down.
Proverbs 3 1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep My Commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not Mercy and Truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. These Promises are true and certain; but don't miss the other side of it. If we lean to our own understanding; if we think we are smart and choose our own ways ; We lose these blessings of God.
9 Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. If God will do the good , and He will, Then the opposite is just as true . If we sit down on God's blessings, keeping them for ourselves , Then our lives will be empty , And we live in vain .
11 My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth. God trains His children, as any parent should. When He allows the evil to come upon us, It is so that we may learn and receive The blessings of obedience.