10.13.08, Joshua 24:1-15

The Covenant Renewed at Shechem

1 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.

2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac, 4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.

5 ” ‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out. 6 as far as the Red Sea.  7 But they cried to the LORD for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the desert for a long time. When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you came to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen.

8 ” ‘I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land. 910 But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand. When Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you.

11 ” ‘Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. 13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’

14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Great Is Your Faithfulness

PP: This is the final passage in Joshua that we will cover – I hope that the devotionals we have discussed have been a blessing to you all!  Now, give me two days to decide where we go next…

Very early in our study, we looked at Joshua 3-4, at the passage of the 12 stones.  There, we discovered that the memorial set up in that passage was a testimony not just to God’s faithfulness in one season, but through the entire Exodus, from the Passover until their entry into the Promised Land.  This must have been a very powerful reminder to these people as to what they had seen God do with their own eyes!

And here in the final chapter of Joshua, we see something very similar happening, but on an even greater scale.  Joshua reminds everyone of God’s faithfulness not just in their own lives, but spanning back well before their own lifetimes as well!  He speaks about God’s faithfulness to Abraham (even mentioning Abraham’s father!) – although this was a story of great cultural significance, none of them personally had experienced this event.   The same applies to much of Joshua’s words, for none of that generation knew Jacob or Esau, none of them even knew the time of Egypt, and very very few of them had any memory of the Exodus and the time in the desert…why does Joshua bring up things that had very little personal implication for these people?

I made an important personal realization in this passage, that God is not just faithful to me – he is faithful to everything.  He is faithful in a million different ways that I simply cannot even perceive, or am too self-centered to begin to notice.  He is faithful across this globe, to millions of his people on every continent, answering prayers, encouraging, blessing his people.  He is faithful in microscopic ways, he is faithful in macroscopic ones.  He was faithful before I was born, and even before living human memory, and he will continue in this faithfulness long after I pass on.  What we realize is that God’s faithfulness is not just a nice part of our personal lives…it is the glue that holds all things together, in our lives, in existence, in everything, for all of time.

Consequently, if God is this faithful in so many ways, surely our worship should EXPLODE as we realize the all encompassing nature of his faithfulness.  And surely this is a faithfulness that we can rely on, even today…

Questions:

1. Is there an area of your life where you have a hard time believing God’s faithfulness?

2. How does God’s universal faithfulness affect the tougher situations of your life?

3. What are some of the most important things you have learned about God through Joshua?

4. If you had to summarize the theme of this book for others, what would you tell them?

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2 thoughts on “10.13.08, Joshua 24:1-15

  1. I tried an earlier post, but my internet crashed each time I did it, so I don’t know if it went through.

    Basically, my question pertains to questions 2. I don’t quite see how God can be faithful to everything. Wouldn’t some sort of contradiction arise? Wouldn’t being faithful to me require some sort of unfaithfulness to someone else and vice versa? I understand that God can do this, but it doesn’t seem feasible at all.

  2. sorry i didn’t get to this sooner!

    i think we perceive a logical impossibility because we see our lives as a kind of zero sum game of economics – if i gain, there must be loss for someone else, etc. it’s kind of like when two sports teams pray that God would help them win…both sides can’t win, right?

    one way to think about the idea is that God doesn’t bless us in one-dimensional ways, i.e. winning. sometimes he chooses to bless us when we lose, when we are going through hard times. he teaches us perseverance and humility and reliance on him. now, this is still faithfulness, this is still blessing, but not in the eyes of the world, and not in the way we like it. but in that way, he need not take away from others in order to give to you.

    also, zero sum systems only relate to closed environments where there are limited resources. with God, there is no end to the resources, and he effectively opens the environment. the possibility of universal faithfulness is only possible with a limitless God, which fortunately, is the God we know! long story short, it’s possible because God is God, and feasible ain’t got nothing on him.

Comments are closed.

10.13.08, Joshua 24:1-15

The Covenant Renewed at Shechem

1 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.

2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your forefathers, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac, 4 and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.

5 ” ‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out. 6 as far as the Red Sea.  7 But they cried to the LORD for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the desert for a long time. When I brought your fathers out of Egypt, you came to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen.

8 ” ‘I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land. 910 But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand. When Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you.

11 ” ‘Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. 13 So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’

14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Great Is Your Faithfulness

PP: This is the final passage in Joshua that we will cover – I hope that the devotionals we have discussed have been a blessing to you all!  Now, give me two days to decide where we go next…

Very early in our study, we looked at Joshua 3-4, at the passage of the 12 stones.  There, we discovered that the memorial set up in that passage was a testimony not just to God’s faithfulness in one season, but through the entire Exodus, from the Passover until their entry into the Promised Land.  This must have been a very powerful reminder to these people as to what they had seen God do with their own eyes!

And here in the final chapter of Joshua, we see something very similar happening, but on an even greater scale.  Joshua reminds everyone of God’s faithfulness not just in their own lives, but spanning back well before their own lifetimes as well!  He speaks about God’s faithfulness to Abraham (even mentioning Abraham’s father!) – although this was a story of great cultural significance, none of them personally had experienced this event.   The same applies to much of Joshua’s words, for none of that generation knew Jacob or Esau, none of them even knew the time of Egypt, and very very few of them had any memory of the Exodus and the time in the desert…why does Joshua bring up things that had very little personal implication for these people?

I made an important personal realization in this passage, that God is not just faithful to me – he is faithful to everything.  He is faithful in a million different ways that I simply cannot even perceive, or am too self-centered to begin to notice.  He is faithful across this globe, to millions of his people on every continent, answering prayers, encouraging, blessing his people.  He is faithful in microscopic ways, he is faithful in macroscopic ones.  He was faithful before I was born, and even before living human memory, and he will continue in this faithfulness long after I pass on.  What we realize is that God’s faithfulness is not just a nice part of our personal lives…it is the glue that holds all things together, in our lives, in existence, in everything, for all of time.

Consequently, if God is this faithful in so many ways, surely our worship should EXPLODE as we realize the all encompassing nature of his faithfulness.  And surely this is a faithfulness that we can rely on, even today…

Questions:

1. Is there an area of your life where you have a hard time believing God’s faithfulness?

2. How does God’s universal faithfulness affect the tougher situations of your life?

3. What are some of the most important things you have learned about God through Joshua?

4. If you had to summarize the theme of this book for others, what would you tell them?

2 thoughts on “10.13.08, Joshua 24:1-15

  1. I tried an earlier post, but my internet crashed each time I did it, so I don’t know if it went through.

    Basically, my question pertains to questions 2. I don’t quite see how God can be faithful to everything. Wouldn’t some sort of contradiction arise? Wouldn’t being faithful to me require some sort of unfaithfulness to someone else and vice versa? I understand that God can do this, but it doesn’t seem feasible at all.

  2. sorry i didn’t get to this sooner!

    i think we perceive a logical impossibility because we see our lives as a kind of zero sum game of economics – if i gain, there must be loss for someone else, etc. it’s kind of like when two sports teams pray that God would help them win…both sides can’t win, right?

    one way to think about the idea is that God doesn’t bless us in one-dimensional ways, i.e. winning. sometimes he chooses to bless us when we lose, when we are going through hard times. he teaches us perseverance and humility and reliance on him. now, this is still faithfulness, this is still blessing, but not in the eyes of the world, and not in the way we like it. but in that way, he need not take away from others in order to give to you.

    also, zero sum systems only relate to closed environments where there are limited resources. with God, there is no end to the resources, and he effectively opens the environment. the possibility of universal faithfulness is only possible with a limitless God, which fortunately, is the God we know! long story short, it’s possible because God is God, and feasible ain’t got nothing on him.

Comments are closed.