Lessons from the book of Joshua
Joshua 23:7 … so as not to …
For a grip on the context, consider the following verses:
Joshua 23:6-7 And you shall be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the Law of Moses, so as not to turn aside from it to the right or to the left; so as not to go in among these nations, these who are left with you; and that you do not make mention of the name of their gods, nor shall you swear, nor shall you serve them, nor shall you bow yourselves to them. [LITV]
I chose this translation because it captures the “hunch” I had when I read the verse in the NKJV and KJV, that it was the adherence to what was written that would keep the nation of Israel from straying. It sounds so much like another verse in the scriptures
Psalm 119:9-11 How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it]. With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; Oh, let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments. Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You. [Amplified]
We do not walk in holiness because we are avoiding sin but rather because we are, with all our hearts, doing the word of God.
It is doing things according to the constitution that makes a good citizen; it is doing things according to the word of God that makes a good Christian.