As Joshua prepares for his death, he gave his final words to the children of Israel. Starting with the history of the forefathers, he reminded them of where they were coming from – a people without God. Beginning with Abraham’s call to Isaac, Jacob and his children who moved to Egypt, down to how God delivered them through Moses and Aaron, Joshua reminded them of God’s dealings.
He reminded the of the victory at the Red sea, victory over the Amorites, Balak, Jericho, the Perizzites, Canaanites and Jebusites. Joshua then challenged them to fear and serve the Lord. The people have a choice to make between God and the gods of their fathers or of the people of the land, but for Joshua and his household God is the only choice.
The people too responded that they would serve God because he was the one that rescued them from Egypt and drove out the inhabitants of the land for them. However, Joshua pointed to them that he was not asking for an halfhearted commitment because God is a holy God and very ‘jealous’. If the people forsake him, he would turn and hurt them. The people however reaffirmed that they would serve God. Joshua then made a covenant with the people about their commitment and set a stone in Shechem as a reminder for this before the people left.
Finally, Joshua died at the age of 110 years, and was buried. The people served God all the days of Joshua as they promised and all the days of the elders that overlived him, who knew all the works God has done for Israel.
And so we came to the end of the book of Joshua, the first of the 12 history books we will be considering. We have learnt a lot from the life of Joshua and the things God did through him as a leader. What awaits in the other books? We will soon see.
Some verses to remember
Vs 14: Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Vs 15: And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.