Read Joshua 22
Two and a half tribes sent home; controversy over the Altar of Testimony; Joshua's final reminder of the Lord's goodness to Israel; the altar of witness; Joshua's death.
Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15).
The conquest of Canaan was concluded after many days that probably stretched into seven years (22:3). It is remarkable that during the sojourn in the wilderness there is one long dialog of murmurings, but during these seven years there were no murmurings, with the exception of one complaint from the tribe of Joseph after the territories were assigned (17:14-18). This marked difference between the Israel under Moses and the Israel under Joshua during much more difficult times is remarkable.
But it is when we're moving forward actively serving the Lord, overcoming the enemy, that we don't find time to murmur. As the Israelites' armies were subduing kingdoms, winning victories, experiencing the Lord's deliverance, there was no discontent, never a suggestion that they return to Egypt.
What joy it must have been for the old prophet Joshua to have the honor of reminding the nation of the mercies of God from the time He had brought them out of Egypt to the time He led them into the land He had promised to Father Abraham!
Seven times he referred to the idolatrous nations still remaining in Canaan. He knew the snare they would be to Israel, and he warned the Israelites not to associate with the idolatrous nations around them. Joshua said unto the people. . . . If ye forsake the Lord . . . then He will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that He hath done you good. . . . Now therefore put away . . . the strange (foreign) gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel (24:19-23). We too need to be reminded daily to incline your (our) heart unto the Lord.What a tragedy that so many people today assume that, once a person has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, he has nothing to do but "just leave everything up to the Lord." The truth is, the Lord has left it up to us to put on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:11).
Joshua boldly declared his love and loyalty to God. Many Christians who have been tempted to compromise their convictions have been greatly strengthened by his words: But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Josh. 24:15).
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (Rom. 1:16).
Thought for Today:
Determine today that you and your household will serve the Lord.
Through the Peace Offerings (Josh. 22:27). Our Lord offered Himself to God as our means of peace with the Father. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:1).
22:9 were possessed, had acquired; 22:10 to see to, for all to see; 22:19 unclean, unfit, defiled; 22:20 accursed, belonged to the Lord — all Israel became accursed if anyone took something for himself (6:17-19); 22:23 require it, call us to account; 22:25 fearing, having reverential heartfelt submission to and respect for; 23:1 waxed, grew; 23:4 cut off, destroyed; 23:7 swear, make a vow; 23:9 stand before, withstand; 23:12 go in unto, associate with; 23:13 shall be snares . . . unto you, shall catch you unawares; scourges in, whip lashes on; 24:2 flood, Euphrates River; 24:20 strange, foreign; 24:23 incline, yield; 24:33 pertained, belonged.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Henry Rogers • Government Official: Rep. Jim Matheson (UT) • Country: United States (270 million) in North America • Major languages: English and Spanish • Religious freedom • 55% Protestant; 28% Catholic; 1% Orthodox; 2% Mormon; 2% Jewish; 1% Muslim; 11% Other/None • Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks always for fellow Christians (II Thess. 2:13-14).
Optional Reading: John 12:1-31
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 2:15