Joshua Chapter Twenty-Four (Part Two)

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

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Read Joshua 24:14-22

3. To the people (Continuation). Joshua calls the people to make a decision about serving the God who has been so good to them. He calls them to make a decision about serving false gods or the true God.

He talks about his own convictions. The people declare their serious commitment to serving the true God.

Applications –

- Fearing and serving the Lord. Notice in vs. 14 that fearing and serving the Lord is urged, especially in light of God’s track record of power and love.

First, we should fear or reverence the Lord because He is all powerful. There are many who are quick to say that they revere or fear the Lord, but they don’t act like it.

Second, a behavior of fear is to obediently serve the Lord. Think about how we revere or fear our employer enough to do our work, so we can get paid, instead of fired from our job. In like manner, God is calling us to fear or reverence Him enough to obey and serve Him.

Third, God’s track record is stronger than our employer’s track record. God has a long history of blessings those who obey and punishing those who don’t let. Let’s work on fearing and serving the Lord like we trust Him to bless or punish accordingly.

- Choosing God, instead of simply traditions. Notice in vss. 14-15 that serving the Lord calls for throwing away the other gods of our fore parents. First, we should strive to respect and appreciate what our fore parents did. Without them, we would not be here.

Second, while respecting our fore parents, we should also be aware that they were not faultless. In fact, there were times when they were just dead wrong. There were other times that their behavior made sense given their times; however, the times have changed today.

Third, God is a jealous God who demands our undivided attention. We have to get on one side of the fence or the other. It is either God or something else. Fourth, we each have to make a choice. The blessings of God and the vanity of life without Him should move us to choose God.

Let’s work on respecting our fore parents, as we choose to live by God’s will for us today.

- Getting our household to serve the Lord. Notice in vs. 15 that Joshua declares that he and his household will serve the Lord.

First, Joshua chose to serve the Lord, no matter what the others decided to do. It is important for each of us to make independent decisions to serve the Lord, because we cannot count on the crowd or majority’s wisdom.

Second, Joshua decided that his household would serve the Lord. Our world would be such a better place, if more men would both decide to serve the Lord and do all that they could to get their household (i.e., spouse, children, etc.) to serve the Lord.

Third, ladies should try to get their households to serve the Lord as well. If they are the head of the house, it may be easier. But even if they are not the head of the household, they should do what they can (e.g., pray, live an exemplary life, encourage, etc.).

Let’s work on choosing to serve the Lord and getting our household to do the same.

- Urging and supporting one another. Notice in vss. 16-20 that the people are challenged to make their commitments clear.

First, it is good to urge people to speak for themselves. It is so frustrating for people to simply go along with the crowd, and when things get rough, they fall by the way side, saying, “Well, I never actually ‘said’ I was going all of the way.”

Second, it is good to have people repeat important commitments, so there will be less “I didn’t know” down the road. The reason we repeat the “Church Covenant” so frequently is so we cannot truthfully say, “I didn’t know what was expected of me.”

Let’s work on urging one another to commit to serving the Lord and then supporting one another as we strive to live up to our commitments.

- Keeping our commitments. Notice in vss. 20-22 that God is serious about commitments. First, He keeps His word towards us. He blesses obedience and punishes disobedience according to His timing.

Second, God expects us to keep our commitments that we make towards Him. God hates a lying tongue. Let’s work on keeping our commitments.

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

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