Concerned about the Future
3. Israel’s Present Responsibilities (Joshua 24:14 – 28)
One of the key words in this section is serve, used fifteen times. To serve God means to fear Him, obey Him, and worship Him only. It means to love Him and fix our heart upon Him, obeying Him because we want to and not because we have to:
- Israel has to make their decision (Joshua 24:14-18) whether they would Worship and Serve the LORD.
- Personal devotion was required (Joshua 24:19-28).
4. The Good Land
Three times in this brief address Joshua called the Promised Land (Canaan) “this Good Land” (Joshua 23:13,15-16):
- When God called Moses at the Burning Bush, He promised to take Israel into “the Good Land” (Exodus 3:8).
- Joshua and Caleb described the Promised Land (Canaan) as “the Good Land” after forty days of investigation (Numbers 14:7).
- In his farewell message Moses used the phrase “the Good Land” at least ten times (Deuteronomy 1:25,35; 3:25; 4:21-22; 6:18; 8:7,10; 9:6; 11:17). The argument is obvious: Since God has given them such “the Good Land,” the least they could do is live to please Him.
Meditating on the Goodness (God’s Glory – Exodus 33:18-19) of the LORD is a strong motivation for obedience. James connects the Goodness of God with our resisting of temptation (James 1:13-17), and Nathan took the same approach when he confronted King David with his sins (2Samuel 12:1-15). It was not his own badness but his father’s goodness that brought the prodigal son to repentance and then back home (Luke 15:17). “The goodness of God leads us to repentance” (Romans 2:4, NKJV). The danger is that the material blessings from the LORD can so possess our hearts that we focus on the Gifts and forget the Giver, and this leads to sin (Deuteronomy 8).
Joshua’s three Admonitions in this Address need to be heeded by God’s People today:
- Keep God’s Word (Joshua 23:6).
- Cleave to the LORD (Joshua 23:8).
- Love the LORD (Joshua 23:11).
Too many Christians have not only compromised with the world but also have capitulated to the world, and the Lord Jesus is not first in their lives. People who think only what they can get today are only Opportunists and are not Leaders with the “shepherd-heart,” they are “hirelings” (John 10:12-13). The Leader plants the “right-seeds” that will bear fruit in years to come for the benefit of others, and Joshua does that.
6. The Days of Judges (Judges 2:1-23)
Moses had Named Joshua as his Successor, but it is significant that God did not tell Joshua to appoint a Successor. The Elders who have served with Joshua guided the Nation after his (Joshua’s) death (Joshua 24:31), but then the People went astray and began to disobey the LORD and worship the gods of the Canaanites (Judges 2:6-15) – why did the next Generation failed to know the LORD and what He had done for Israel? Because the people of Joshua’s generation failed to keep their promises and teach their children and grandchildren to fear and serve the LORD;” God kept His Promise and chastened His People, first by bringing other Nations into the Land (Judges 2:14-19), and then by taking the Children of Israel out of their Land, the Northern Kingdom to Assyria and the Southern Kingdom to Babylon. God promised that He will re-gather His People Israel and establish them in their Land (Isaiah 11-12; 51-52; Ezekiel 36:24). Then “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).
To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..