Joshua Chapter Twenty-Four (Part Three)

Introduction: A key idea in the book of Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to finish our discussion of Joshua’s farewell address and his actual death.

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Read Joshua 24:23-28

3. To the People (continuation). Joshua urged the people to get rid of the false gods that they had been worshipping. And he calls them to serve the lord whole heartedly.

They say that they will serve the Lord. Joshua sets up a stone to be a witness of what they have said. He sends them to their inherited land.

Applications –

- Coherence. Notice in vss. 23-27 that the people had some false gods to get rid of. If we didn’t see these verses, we may have thought that Joshua was being too hard on them.  We may have thought that they were already living godly lives and were simply committing to continuing.

But the reality is that while they were committing to following God, they were already following false gods.

First, we should strive to live a coherent lives. What we say and what we do should be one and the same. Second, as we strive to get along with one another, we should focus more on what people do than what people say.

It is much easier to talk the talk than to walk the walk. Let’s work on being godly and responding to the godly behavior of others.

- Covenant agreements. Notice in vss. 25-27 that a stone is designated as a witness to the commitments/covenant being made. There are times when it is good to make sure commitments are officially agreed upon and witnessed by others.

In our culture, we would do well to put important agreements in writing, so we can remember and hold one another accountable to what we said we would do. It is hard to trust a person who doesn’t want to put what they say in writing.

If they don’t put it in writing, it is unlikely that they will put it into practice. Let’s work on being people of our word and lovingly holding one another accountable to our commitments as well.

- God’s blessings. Notice in vs. 28 that the people are released to go to their inherited land. In like manner, after every worship service, Bible study, church activity, we are released to go back and enjoy what God has placed in our trust.

For some, God has provided automobiles, houses, nice clothes, and more. For others, God has provided a portion of strength, peace of mind, and the marvelous hope of being with the Lord, when this life is over.

The more we think about how good God has been to us, the more we should serve Him.  Our service should be our way of saying “Thank You.” And our service also makes us eligible for even more blessings.

Let’s work on living like we appreciate the blessings that God has placed in our lives. Such living should be known for obedience – loving God and others, as we love ourselves.

Read Joshua 24:29-33

G. The Death of Joshua. Joshua died. His body is buried. Joseph’s body is brought to the inherited land. Eleazar died. The people served the Lord during the life of Joshua and the respected elders.

Applications –

- Death is coming. Notice in vss. 29-33 that even Joshua died. In like manner, death in coming our way as well. Instead of being afraid or trying to hide, we should make sure that we are prepared. Wills, living wills, and life insurance are very important.

However, we need to make sure that we are saved and striving to live by God’s will. Without salvation, we are doomed to Hell. Without a godly life, we may have a cap, instead of a crown, at the judgment seat of Christ. Let’s get ready for our date with death.

- Living inspiring lives. Notice in vs. 31 that Joshua and the other leaders lived in such a way that the people of God were inspired to live godly lives, in the presence of their role models. In like manner, we should strive to live so that people will want to live godly lives in front of us.

In order for this to be the case, we need to work on living godly lives that are focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves. No one is inspired to live for the Lord, when we are mean, anti-social, and self-centered. Let’s strive to live inspiring lives.

- Soul placement verses bone placement. Notice in vs. 32 that there is mention of where the bones of the deceased were placed. As believers, we should be more concerned with the placement of souls than bones.

Almost all believers agree that when we are resurrected, we will have new bodies, not recycled bodies. Thus, where our bones are laid and the state of our decaying bodies are not as important as the state of our souls.

We need to make sure and very sure that we are saved. We need to make sure that we have asked and are trusting God to save us because Jesus died and paid for our sin debt.

When our souls are right with God, the placement of our dead bones become less of a priority. Let’s work on making sure that our souls are right with God.

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

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