Joshua Chapter Twenty-Two (Part One)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to discuss Joshua’s farewell address to the 2 ½ tribes on the east.

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Read Joshua 22:1-9

F. Joshua’s Farewell. 1. To the two-and-a-half tribes. Joshua calls the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh to him. Joshua commends them for their faithfulness. He blesses their departure. And he reminds them to stay faithful in obeying all of God’s will.

Applications –

- Communicating. Notice in vss. 1-2 that it is important to have a chat from time to time. First, it is good to simply keep lines of communication open. Second, it is good to let people know when you think that they have done a good job.

Third, it is good for people to demonstrate that they are trusting God by following the leadership that He has provided.

Let’s work on communicating with especially the people of God in ways that are pleasing to God. This application is important for church, family, and community.

- Living on purpose. Notice in vs. 3 of Joshua that the 2 ½ tribes on the east were commended for not abandoning their siblings and carrying out the mission that God had given them. This is an outstanding reputation to have and legacy to leave.

Let’s work on living as those who have done what God has purposed for us to do. God’s purpose includes our working together until the work is done.

Think about how this applies to especially African American believers working on collective economic empowerment as well as political and health stewardship.

- God the promise keeper. Notice in vs. 4 that God is a promise keeper. In like manner, we can count on God to keep His promises today. God promises to bless those who obey Him. And God promises to punish those who don’t obey Him.

Let’s live like we trust that God is a promise keeper. Such living should be known for our obedience and anticipation of God blessing our obedience.

- Staying faithful to God. Notice in vs. 5 of Joshua that it is important to keep on obeying God. We should not allow our blessings to lead us away from being faithful to the God who provided the blessings. There are too many who were more faithful, when they had less.

The Pastor fears that God may have to take some of our blessings away, so He can get us to focus on Him more than the blessings that He has provided.

Think about how when a parent talks to a child who is distracted by a video game, there are times when the video game has to be taken away. Let’s work on staying faithful to God, instead of being distracted by the blessings that He allows us to have.

- Working hard together. Notice in vs. 8 that God has so much for His people, after they work hard together. First, faith without works is dead.

There are too many who are simply waiting on the Lord to send them some blessings, while the Lord is waiting for them to do the assigned work. Think about how fitness comes after adjustments to our eating and exercise.

Think about how wealth comes after income is increased, expenses are reduced, so investments can take place. Second, it is important for us to work together. There are too many lone rangers among those who claim to be children of God.

Being a child of God implies that we need to work together for our Father, because our Father has many children.

It is sad to see how well some African American believers are doing as individuals and how there are even some churches that are doing well individually; however, when we look at what we are able to do together, things become so much less impressive.

If a husband and wife can pay for a house and build a retirement then surely the church house should be paid for and have funds that go beyond the next set of bills.

And if individual churches can operate debt free and build endowments then surely a number of churches should be able to work together and sponsor business ventures that provide employment for returning citizens and housing opportunities for those who are struggling to move from being a tenant to being a home owner.

Let’s work on working hard together, so we can have all that God has for us. 

- Building on the past. Notice in vss. 1-9 that Moses is not forgotten. We don’t have to choose between remembering past accomplishments or pressing forward. We can do both, as in the the chapter of Joshua.

We should try to honor our fore parents, by building on what they left for us. If we don’t feel all of that affectionate about our fore parents, we should honor God, by trying to be as profitable with what He has given us as we can be. Let’s work on building on what God has provided through our fore parents.

Conclusion: Let’s work on being obedient to God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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