Will you grab a Bible this morning and read Joshua chapter 24 to see how his years of leadership came to an end. As we noted yesterday his commitment was that he and his house would serve the LORD but he had some strong words for the people.
Their response to the to the challenge Joshua presented to them v.14-15
‘Now serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your fathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living’
met with this response
Far be it from us to forsake the LORD and serve other gods! v.16
This elicited a warning response from Joshua v.19 ‘You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has done good to you.
Joshua did not pull his punches. For like his namesake, Jesus, after him ‘he knew what was in a man’ John 2.25 and so he warned the people before he died and following his death these words are written for our warning as well –
Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything that the LORD had done for Israel. v.31
But the Book of Judges follows!
As we noted yesterday Joshua finished well. The people appeared to finish well but their subsequence history tells a different story.
We are the recipients of many great and precious promises. We have a great Saviour. Let’s make sure that we ‘run with perseverance the race marked out for us’ Hebrews 12.1 with our eyes fixed on Jesus so that we do not fall away. So that our words of commitment are not empty words.