8 May. Joshua 23:1-16,24:14-16,22-27

8 May. Joshua gives a farewell speech to the Israelites

“Many years passed, and Joshua grew very old. He called a meeting of all the elders, heads of families, judges and officers of Israel. He said, ‘I am now very old. You have seen what the LORD has done to our enemies to help us. The LORD your God fought for you.'”

“'Remember that your people have been given their land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the land I promised to give you. The LORD your God will force out the people living there. The LORD will push them out ahead of you. And you will own the land, as he has promised you.'”

“'Be strong. You must be careful to obey everything commanded in the Book of the Teachings of Moses. Do exactly as it says. Don’t become friends with the people living among us who are not Israelites. Don’t say the names of their gods or make anyone swear by them. Don’t serve or worship them. You must continue to worship the LORD your God, as you have done in the past...'”

“'If you turn away from the way of the LORD and become friends with these people who are not part of Israel and marry them, the LORD your God will not help you defeat your enemies. They will be like traps for you, like whips on your back and thorns in your eyes, and none of you will be left in this good land the LORD your God has given you.'”

“'It’s almost time for me to die. You know and fully believe that the LORD has done great things for you. You know that he has not failed to keep any of his promises… This will happen if you don’t keep your agreement with the LORD your God. If you go and serve other gods and worship them, the LORD will become very angry with you. Then none of you will be left in this good land he has given you…'”

“Then Joshua said to the people, ‘Now respect the LORD and serve him fully and sincerely… But if you don’t want to serve the LORD, you must choose for yourselves today whom you will serve… As for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.’”

“Then the people answered, ‘We will never stop following the LORD to serve other gods!' … Then Joshua said, ‘You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the LORD.’ … On that day at Shechem, Joshua made an agreement for the people. He made rules and laws for them to follow. Joshua wrote these things in the Book of the Teachings of God.”

“Then he took a large stone and set it up under the oak tree near the LORD’s Holy Tent. Joshua said to all the people, ‘See this stone! It will remind you of what we did today. It was here the LORD spoke to us today. It will remind you of what happened so you will not turn against your God.’”

          (Joshua 23:1-16, 24:14-16, 22-27)



 

Many years passed after the Israelites first settled in Canaan, and Joshua grew very old. Before his death, Joshua summoned the elders of Israel and gathered all the leaders together at Shechem, not far from the hill town of Timnath Serah where Joshua lived (see Joshua 19:49-50).

Here he reminded them to remain faithful to the LORD their God – and reminded them that calamity would strike if they began to marry non-Israelites or began worshipping their ‘foreign’ gods.

Joshua then made a final speech. He summed up their journey so far – from Mesopotamia to Egypt, and from Moab to the conquest of Canaan – and urged the people to serve the LORD alone and to throw away their idols and foreign gods (see Joshua 24:1-27).

Joshua then renewed the Covenant Agreement with God and his chosen people at Shechem (see Joshua 24:14-15) and set up a large standing stone as a witness, to remind them of their commitment to the LORD (see Joshua 24:26-27).

The photo (by Wilson 44691) shows the remains of the Commander’s Palace at Lachish, one of the cities of Canaan conquered by Joshua in his southern campaign (see Joshua 10:31-32).

You can read more about Joshua’s final days @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/27-the-israelites-move-into-canaan/joshua-says-farewell/


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