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Joshua 23 - 24

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Joshua’s Farewell Address

Here we see Joshua’s final instructions to Israel. He knew this was his last chance to share what he felt was most important for Israel to hear.
If you had one day to share with your loved ones final thoughts, what would you say? The important things stand out clearly from the mundane and trivial.
Similar to Paul's message to the Ephesian elders, - 38
Read 23:1-16
Vs 1 -2 Joshua calls for the leaders who will then share his message with the people.

The Message

“I’m old..” Imagine all that Joshua had seen, from Egypt till then. In Ch 24 he recounts the hi-lights.
 You have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the LORD your God is He who has fought for you.
Notice, all these things were done because of God’s love for you! Yahweh your God he has fought for you.. remember that. Joshua wants to make clear that it was not because he was a great Military leader or they were great fighters, God did it all.
Beware of taking credit for God’s victories, God will not share His glory with another.
Vs 5 - ..the LORD your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the LORD your God promised you.
The point here is that the Canaanites who were still in the land, God will remove. There job was just to go in and possess the land.
Application: as we are about God’s business He in His power will remove obstacles in our way.
Vs 6 but is takes courage… be very courageous.
Hebrew = 2616 חָזַק (ḥā·zǎq): v.; ≡ Str 2388; TWOT 636—1. LN 78.1–78.27 (qal) be harsh, severe, i.e., be in a state of a high degree of intensity (); 2. LN 27.48–27.54 (qal) be hard, i.e., not be willing to learn information, implying the information would change the response to a situation (); (piel) harden (); 3. LN 74 (qal) be strong, i.e., have the ability to accomplish what is intended, implying an element of resolve is needed as well
The Courage is required to: Vs 6 .. keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left,
a. They need to be courageous so they can be obedient.  Following God and His word isn't something for the faint of heart.
b. They must do all that is written in the Book.  We tend to focus on the aspects of obedience that we like and skip over the parts that attract us less.
c. They must not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, because Satan doesn't care which extreme he gets us off to.  Either legalism or licentiousness please him.
and lest you go among these nations, these who remain among you. You shall not make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause anyone to swear by them; you shall not serve them nor bow down to them, 8 but you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.
In this life we are in a spiritual battle for our minds. We must be careful what we allow in!
This call to love God is an appeal to the will.  We first decide to love God, even if the feelings don't come first.
Example: there is a story about Queen Victoria who was looking for a coach driver.
Vs 10 - In Christ we have super human strength! Why? Because it is God who is fighting for us.

The Warning, Vs 11 - 16

Vs 11- 16
11 Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God.
This call to love God is an appeal to the will.  We first decide to love God, even if the feelings don't come first.
12 Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations—these that remain among you—and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you,
13 know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you.
But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.
"How often we see that the temptation we have pampered and encouraged and indulged in has become a scourge and a thorn in our side. The compromising Christian is not a happy man. Let the enemy remain in a Christian life, let him have one foothold, and he soon becomes a scourge." (Redpath)
14 “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth.
Joshua is saying I am going to die soon!
And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.
15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all the good things have come upon you which the LORD your God promised you, so the LORD will bring upon you all harmful things, until He has destroyed you from this good land which the LORD your God has given you. 16 When you have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed down to them, then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which He has given you.”
We relate to God under a different covenant, a new and better covenant (), by which Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law ().

Ch 24 The covenant at Shechem

This chapter outlines Yahweh’s agreement or covenant with the people of Israel.
Read 24:1 - 28
Vs 1 - 13 A recap of their history to the point of Joshua’s death.

Vs 14 - 28 The covenant ratified by the people

In this section the people are given the opportunity to agree or walk away from God’s agreement. The challenge: serve God exclusively.
Vs 14 - 15 are a very well known passage. You may have it on a plaque in your home.
14 “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD!
15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
We all must serve someone, that is how it works. Bob Dylan wrote a song, “you’re gonna have to serve somebody”, he sings it might be the devil or it might be the LORD but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
Vs 16 -18 the people agree
Notice Vs 19 - a strange response but Joshua wants them to be sure they know what they are doing.
Jesus employed this same method in the sermon on the mount. Really almost talking them out of fallowing instead of selling them on joining. In our Video series on Wed nights, Radical we talked about this a lot.
Vs 25 Joshua ratifies the agreement.
He writes then covenant in the Book of the Law.
He set up a large stone, as a witness.
Application: We should give careful thought to the agreements we make. Your word is important to God.

Vs 29 - 33 The death of Joshua and Eleazar

Joshua 110 years old
Buried in Timnath Serah ( literal: Portion of the sun), a town in Ephraim.
Joseph’s bones are buried.
Israel was faithful until the Elders died. It often works that way..
Eleazar, the Priest, son of Aaron dies and is buried in Ephraim as well.
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