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8. Just Who Are we Anyway?

October 2, 2009

Text:    Joshua 23:1-24:33

Key Verses:    Joshua 24:14-15

Outline:      I. Joshua’s Last Address                Joshua 23:1-16

                         II. Israel’s Constitution Ratified      Joshua 24:1-28

                         III. An Era Ends          Joshua 24:29-33

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     We believe there is about a 25 year gap between Chapters 22 and 24. Joseph’s bones were probably buried during this time and Eleazar probably died. Israel is at rest, the tribes grow independent, and the judges become the key rulers of the individual tribes. Another transition is taking place and apostasy is becoming a problem. Therefore, Joshua addresses the people before he dies of old age.

     Joshua reminds the people that the Lord has been faithful in driving out the larger nations and He will continue to be faithful in driving out the smaller nations among them so that they will possess all the land. Joshua challenges them to keep and obey the Law so that they will continue to worship God and not worship other gods. They are to cling to the Lord because He will fight for them. They are to love God and be separate [not intermarry]. God is faithful in blessing obedience and disciplining disobedience to the point of destruction. I believe this speech took place at Shiloh where the tabernacle was located although scripture doesn’t say so.

     Evidently the Tabernacle was moved to Shechem temporarily where Joshua gathered the leaders together once again. Joshua briefly reviewed their history from Abraham to Egypt to their exodus into the land at Jericho and beyond. This was necessary because there is a whole new generation of Israelites who were not part of the Exodus. Joshua exhorts them to fear God and serve Him. They are to burn any existing idols. They have a choice to serve God or not to serve God but Joshua’s family will remain faithful to the Lord God Almighty.

     The leaders agree to follow God for the same reasons Joshua stated earlier. Joshua reminds them of the seriousness of their vow by stating God is holy and jealous and He will discipline them if they are unfaithful. The people renew their commitment to God, burn their idols, and promise to obey and serve the Lord God.

     Joshua documents their renewed covenant and commitment to the Lord God, completes the book of the Law [Moses writings?], places the stone in the tree and dismisses the people.

     Joshua goes home, dies, and is buried near his home town of Timnath Serah. Israel was faithful during the days of Joshua. They buried Joseph’s bones at Shechem, Eleazar dies, and Phinehas becomes High Priest. Another era ends.

Lessons/Applications:

     Remember, God is faithful and keeps His promises. He blesses those who love Him, who obey His Law, and who desire to serve Him and bring glory to His Name. Similarly, God’s wrath is sure for those who do not love Him, who do not obey Him, and who refuse to glorify His Name.

     1. The Lord exalts those who exalt Him. He fights for those who fight for Him. You may lose the battle but He will not lose the war. You may even die, yet you will live. The Lord is the final victor.

     2. Exercise radical action against sin before it has a chance to take root.

     3. Confess and record your commitment to God before man so that you will be held accountable on earth and in heaven. Lead by example.

     4. Unity is necessary for strength to stand against our enemy, Satan. It is easier to stand among other trees in the forest than to stand alone on a prairie when the strong winds blow. Separation is good but unity is required. Support one another. Love one another. It’s God’s Will.

 

Just who are we anyway? ……………..We are the people of God, The Church.

      Mission accomplished?……………..Our mission is never accomplished.

     Joshua’s last address?………………..Christ’s last message to us was “Go and make disciples”.

     Israel ratified a constitution……….Our constitution is to “preach Christ crucified”.

     An era ends……………………………..Our era ends when Christ returns.

Therefore, Pass it On.

    • Passing on your faith in God to your descendents is the most important duty one has.

    • Your family history is important for knowing who your were, who you are, and who you are to be. Know it, preserve it, proclaim it, and pass it on.

                                               Pass on your memories of God.

                                                  Pass on your love for God.

                                                  Pass on your fear of God.

                                                 Pass on your faith in God.

                                                           Pass It On!

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