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Kevin Bauman photographed the decline of Detroit, which saw its bustling population go from 2 million people down to 700,000. Its auto industry went from 90,000 employees down to 6,000. Bauman took 100 pictures of abandoned homes that left the city in ruins. Just as a city can suffer the effects of bad decisions, God told ancient Israel they would suffer if they abandoned Him—the God who saved them from slavery, kept them all through their wilderness experience, and took them into the Promised Land, a place of blessing. We see in Joshua 22, that as Joshua, their leader, was about to die, he praised the soldiers who helped the nation gain control of the Promised Land. But then he warned them of what would happen if they abandoned loyalty to God. Joshua said, “Be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the LORD your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” Joshua knew that their past obedience to God must not lull them into complacency and faithlessness toward Him. If that happened, he said they could lose the blessings God wanted to give them. Joshua’s call that his people stay true to God ought to remind us we must do the same.

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