Joshua Chapter Twenty-Three

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to discuss Joshua’s farewell to the rulers.

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Read Joshua 23:1-16

2. To the Rulers (23:1-16). Joshua has gotten old. He calls all of the leaders together. Joshua shares with the leaders that he has gotten old and is on his way toward death. He urges them to remember how good the Lord has been.

He wants them to stay faithful to God’s will. Is so doing, they will insure that God will stay faithful to them. However, if they drift from God, God will see that they are punished.

Applications –

-  Getting older. Notice in vss. 1-2 that if we keep on living, we can expect to get older. First, instead of seeing old age as a bad thing, we should work on seeing it as a great blessing that many people will not be able to see.

“Yes” the aches and pains, the disappointments, and grief can take their toll. But the good outweighs the bad for those who are living according to God’s purpose.

Second, instead of trying to do all that we used to do, we should make some honest assessments about what we can do at our given age and make adjustments as needed.

Anyone over the age of 70 should have someone close to them to review any mental calculations being made and documents being signed and surely to assist with any physical labor. Let’s work on appreciating and adjusting to getting older. 

- Remembering and trusting the Lord. Notice in vss. 2-5 that it is important to remind the leaders that God brought us to this point, and He can be trusted to lead us forward.

First, even though works must accompany our faith, the greatest credit for our being alive and having as many blessings as we have today is because of God’s adding His favor to our labor.

Second, the same God who brought us this far can be and should be trusted to lead us forward. The good days are not behind us but in front of us.

The best is yet to come with the Lord. Let’s live like we believe that God brought us this far and will lead us to even higher heights. Such living should be known for joyful and anticipatory obedience to His will.

- Loving and obeying. Notice in vss. 6-8 that loving the Lord and obeying the Lord goes together. There are too many who claim to love God but don’t obey God.

Loving God should move us to study and strive to obey His will, worship Him with enthusiasm, and be involved in helping others for God’s glory. Let’s work on obeying the Lord, as much as we claim to love Him.

- God’s anger. Notice in vss. 12-16 that there are terrible things waiting for those who drift from the Lord to serving the things of this world. The same God who blesses obedience punishes disobedience.

It is a terrible mistake to think that God will just patiently put up with our disobedience. Verse 16 teaches that the Lord has a burning anger towards such.

Let’s live like we believe that God can and will punish disobedience. Think about how when one generation sins and loses their land and wealth how it negatively impacts the next generation.

- Death preparations. Notice in vs. 14 that Joshua wants to make sure that he has left a clear message about obeying God, before he dies. First, death is coming, and we should make preparations for it.

Having a will, living will, and life insurance can help with material issues. But making sure that we are saved and striving to live according to God’s will is what we need for our spiritual preparations.

Second, we should all strive to make sure that those we love have heard us say loudly and clearly that they should line up and stay lined up with God’s word.

It would be terrible for us to die and our loved ones did not know how important it was to us for them to live by God’s will. Let’s make sure we have important matters in place before death comes our way.

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

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