Two and a half tribes sent home; controversy over the Altar of Testimony; Joshua’s final reminder of the Lord’s goodness to Israel; the altar of witness; Joshua’s death.
And Joshua said unto the people. . . . If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange (foreign) gods, then He will . . . do you hurt (bring disaster), and consume (destroy) you, after that He hath done you good. . . . Now therefore put away . . . the strange gods which are among you, and incline (yield) your heart unto the Lord God of Israel (Josh. 24:19-20,23).
When God told Joshua: Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses (Joshua 1:3), Joshua did not merely “trust that the Lord” would force the Canaanites to voluntarily give up their land. The fact is, the Israelites received their inheritance by faith in the words of God; but they were to fight for every foot of land that God had promised them. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:14).
After about seven years, the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua had conquered Canaan. And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that He sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand (21:44).
The Israelites’ greatest danger was yet to be faced. The Lord commanded the Israelites, that as His chosen people they should come out from among them, and be ye separate (II Cor. 6:17). Joshua clearly warned that the reason they should be separate was to keep them from being tempted to take on the strange gods of the nations they had conquered and thereby take on the ungodly practices of their neighbors. Our nation is faced with this same temptation daily. With so many different cultures and religions in our society we are prone to water down our own Christian principles as laid out in God's Word, the Bible. “Jesus” (the same as “Joshua” in Hebrew) freed us from sin by His substitutionary death on the cross and His triumphant physical resurrection from the grave. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living (Roman 14:9).
We too need to be reminded daily to incline our heart to the Lord by staying faithful to His word and His ways. What a tragedy that so many people assume once a person has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, he has nothing to do but “just leave everything up to the Lord.” The truth is, the Lord has left it up to us. We should strive daily to develop a personal relationship with Jesus, draw closer to God, and become more Christlike in all our ways.
Thought for Today:
Unbelief produces unrest, inward conflict and distress.
Through the peace offering (Joshua 22:27). Our Lord offered Himself to God as our means of peace with the Father. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
22:10 to see to, for all to see (compare 22:27); 22:29 meat offerings, cereal (grain); 23:1 waxed old, grew old; 23:8 cleave, remain faithful.
Prayer Suggestion: Can you say you are ready for the Lord’s coming (Malachi 3:2)?
Optional Reading: >John 12
Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 14:11