Joshua Chapter Twenty-Four (Part One)

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

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Read Joshua 24:1-13

3. To the People. Joshua calls a great assemble together. The leaders are highlighted as being there. Joshua rehearses with the crowd how the Lord has been so good to them. God brought them from Abram’s father up to them being in the promised land of Canaan.

Applications –

- Assembled to hear what God is doing. Notice in vs. 1 that it is good for all to assemble from time to time to hear what God is saying through the leader.

First, God has a long track record of speaking through the one he sent to give leadership. This is as opposed to God making it a habit of speaking through the leader’s helper or through the majority of the followers. There are too many churches who have moderators, instead of leaders.

Second, everyone should come to the assemble, because no one is so important that they don’t have to come, and no one in the body is so unimportant that they are excluded. Let’s work on operating like we are many members of only one body.

- God of our history. Notice in vss. 2-13 of Joshua that it is important for us to be conscious of how God has been working in our history. To a great degree, our history is really “His” story – how God has been working things out for His people.

First, as we look at our history with God in mind or through a theological lens, we should be aware of how God has brought us through one situation after another. We did not make it by ourselves.

Second, we should be conscious that God actually rescued us from our destruction. If we had simply did what seemed right to us, we would have been dead long ago. But thanks be to God, God rescued us from our own agendas (i.e., idol worship in the text).

Third, we have been rescued from our agendas to serve God’s agenda. And a great thing about serving God’s agenda is that God has all kinds of blessings for those who obey Him.

Let’s live like we believe that God has brought us this far to obey Him and be blessed by Him. Such living should be known for obeying God with anticipation of His continued care.

- Serious and united prayer. Notice in vs. 7 of Joshua that God responded to serious and united prayer. First, there are times when our prayers don’t seem to be very serious.

If we are not careful, we can fall in the trap of simply repeating what we have always said, without any real feeling or conviction to go with our words.

Second, it is embarrassing to see how difficult it is to get even ½ of the Sunday crowd to pray together. In most of our churches, more people show up for a business meeting or the death of a popular member than to the prayer meeting/service.

Our lack of attendance says volumes about what we think about the power of praying together. Let’s work on praying seriously and with unity. God is still a prayer hearing and answering God. The question is “Are we a praying church”?

- Turning things around. Notice in vs. 8 that God can take from one and give to whomever He chooses.

First, in order to be the one who receives, instead of being the one who has blessings taken from them, we should make sure that we have accepted Jesus as our savior and are striving to live lives known for loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

Second, we should learn from the text that being right with God is more important than having stuff, since God can take our stuff away.

Third, we should strive to be faithful and trust God’s ability to work things out, instead of being jealousy about what others have. God is still able to turn things around in your life and in mine. Let’s work on living like we trust God’s ability to turn things around in our lives.

- From cursed to blessed. Notice in vss. 9-10 of Joshua that God can take the curses that others send our way and turn them into blessings for us. First, there are some mean people in this world who will do whatever they can to cause harm in our lives. 

Second, as mean as some people may be, God is still able to turn what is meant for our harm into that which is for our good. Think about how being mistreated and losing one job can lead to you being available for a better job or your own business.

Let’s live like we trust God’s ability to turn what was intended for our harm into that which is for our good. This kind of living should be known for focusing on being obedient to God and trusting Him, no matter what we see.

- Blessed beyond what we deserve. Notice in vs. 13 that the people did not deserve all of the blessings that God showered into their lives. In like manner, when we consider the bad that we have done, how little good we have done, and how many blessings we have, we too should see that God has been better to us than we deserve.

This realization should lead to a spirit of joy and allegiance to obeying God’s will. Let’s live like we know that God has been better to us than we deserve.

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

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