The book of Joshua concludes in chapter 24. By this time, he was 110 years old. He gathered all the leaders of the people to speak to them and remind them of their past and present. He warned them that their future was in their hands.
Throughout these verses are shining reasons to trust God.
In verses one through seven, Joshua speaks of what God did for other people. That should be a reminder and an encouragement to trust God because he was a blessing to their forefathers. He even saved them from the pursuing Egyptians at the Red Sea. They had no idea how they would be rescued, but God parted the waters so that they might pass over. Then, he closed the waters and the Egyptians drowned.
In verses eight through 12, Joshua reminded the people of their own experiences and coming to the promise land. They had many enemies. They even had an evil prophet that was asked to prophesy against them, but God would not allow it. Instead, he blessed them. After going over the river Jordan, they conquered Jericho. Verse 12 is interesting. It says that God sent hornets to drive out two kings of the Amorites.
God wanted to be perfectly clear that he is the one that did it all and brought blessings upon his people. He wanted them to stay focused how that their strength, no matter great or small, they became victors because of God. He did all of these things with the intent to bring blessings on the people.
When Joshua challenged the people in verses 13 to 18, it was important that they were not simply reacting to his words. It was up to them to make choices and know the consequences of those choices.
Verse 15 is renowned among believers for Joshua said, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This was a concluding sentence for the people to clearly see the difference between serving false gods and the real God. He did not want them to arbitrarily make shallow promises and patronize him by saying they would serve the real God.
For them to make their choices and to follow through, they had to put away their false gods. They had to concentrate their spiritual life strictly on the Lord God. They could not serve false gods and the Lord God. It was up to them to put away what was not pleasing to the Lord God. is not this significant for us that whatever is in our thinking, attitude, or lifestyle it must be put away if it is not pleasing to the Lord God? We have his holy word to guide us and tell us what that means to please him or to not please him.
Joshua went further to demand that the people realize that they were witnesses against themselves whether or not they would serve the Lord. They repeatedly declared that they would be obedient and serve the true God. As a result, Joshua made a covenant with the people and set up a statue to memorialize the event.
The people were so moved by this experience that they were truthful to the Lord God all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua that had known the works of the Lord. We might make a side observation in that Joshua and the elders and Eleazar the high priest was buried. They were history. So, that which is not current in our lives is less of an impact on ourselves. It behooves us to be wise and consistent in obeying God. Just because much of the Christian experiences are historical, is no reason for us to say it is passé. Our own personal relationship with God can never be passé and must be nurtured and encouraged on a daily basis.
Our next blog will begin a Bible study on the book of Judges.