Devotional: ‘Joshua’s Final Challenge’ pt 1

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Joshua 24:1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people…

Much like his predecessor Moses, Joshua gathered the nation of Israel together shortly before his death and gave them one last challenge. Joshua knew that only by staying faithfully committed to God would the people experience God’s blessings. The moment the people began to drift away from God, the Lord would stop His blessing and instead begin to chasten them. It is because of this that Joshua did everything he could to challenge the people to stay true to God and His Word.

Today and tomorrow we will take a look at Joshua’s final message. We begin with Joshua’s call for the people to consider how good God had been to them.

Joshua 24:2…“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. 3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. 4 And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

5 And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out. 6 “‘Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 And when they cried to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time.

8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand.

11 And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.’

From the time God called Abraham to leave a life of idolatry, to the time God gave to Abraham’s people the Promised Land, God had been good to the people of Israel. Not once had He ever failed them. Therefore it did not make sense why they should ever consider not serving Him. The same holds true for us today as well. God has been good to us and He has been gracious to us. He has saved us from a life of sin and He has promised us a home in heaven. Therefore we should serve the Lord with gladness all the days of our lives.

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