1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. 3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. 4And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out.
6 “Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7And when they cried to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time. 8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.’
14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”
19 But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord.” 22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. 26 And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
29 After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being 110 years old. 30 And they buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.
31 Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.
32 As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.
33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of Phinehas his son, which had been given him in the hill country of Ephraim.
Observations – What does it say?
- Joshua summoned all the leaders of Israel to Shechem
- The leaders of Israel presented themselves before god
- Joshua went through a brief history of Israel with the leaders of Israel
- Abraham served other gods before god called him
- God chose Abraham
- God lead Abraham through land of Canaan
- God gave Esau the hill country of Seir
- Take that his children went down to Egypt
- God sent Moses and Aaron
- God played Egypt
- God brought Israel out of Egypt
- Joshua talk to the leaders of Israel in second person as if they personally came out of Egypt not their ancestors
- Joshua said their eyes saw what god did in Egypt
- God put darkness between the Israelites in the Egyptians
- God cause the sea to cover the Egyptians
- The Israelites lived in the wilderness shall bow long time
- After living in the wilderness god brought the Israelites to the land of the Amorites
- The Amorites lived on the east side of Jordan
- The Amorites fought with Israel
- God gave the Amorites into the Israelites hands
- Balak king of Moab fought against Israel
- Balak asked Balaam two curse the Israelites
- But God cause Balaam to bless the Israelites rather than curse them
- God did not listen to Balaam
- God delivered Balak king of Moab into the Israelites hands
- Joshua lists all the people who had fought against Israelites and god gave them all into the Israelites hands
- God sent hornets before the Israelites to drive out the two Kings of the Amorites
- The Israelites the did not need to fight against the two Kings of the Amorites
- God gave the Israelites cities they had not built, and vineyards and orchards they had not planted
- Joshua concludes his address by saying since god has done all these things for Israelites, they should fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and faithfulness
- Joshua told the Israelites to put away the gods they served on the other side of the Jordan
- Joshua told the Israelites to put away the gods they served in Egypt
- Joshua told the Israelites for them to choose aside either serve the gods of their fathers or the gods of the Amorites
- Joshua said that he and his house which serve the lord
- The people said they would not for sake the lord
- People said they would not serve other gods
- It was said the reason they would not serve other gods is because the lord god brought them in their fathers out of the land of Egypt
- The people realize it was god who drove out the Amorites them the land
- People said God was their god
- Joshua said to the people they were not able to serve the lord
- The reason that people would not be able to serve the lord is he is holy
- Joshua said god is jealous and will not forgive transgressions or their sins line
- Joshua said that if they turn serve other gods god will do them harm even after having been good for them
- The people replied know we will serve the lord
- Joshua are wrote the words of the people in his words in the book of the law of god
- Joshua set up a large stone as a reminder of the covenant they had sworn war to god
- Joshua then sent away the people to their inheritance
- Joshua died at the age of 110
- Israel serve the lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the Elders who outlived Joshua
Interpretation – What does it mean?
Joshua outlined all that God had done to the Israelites. Joshua then concluded that since God had been so good to the Israelites, Israelites owed God their allegiance, service, and worship. Continued blessings were promise to the Israelites if they continued to serve god. However, if they serve other gods they would be driven out of the land just as the Amorites were driven out by the Israelites. The people realized how good God had been to them. They realized it was God who fought their battles and not them with their swords. So the people swore that they would serve God. Joshua spoke to the people of Israel as if they personally were the ones delivered out of each. But this is a generation that was raised in the wilderness. As an example, in verse 7, “ and when they cried to the lord,” they being these people’s forefathers, “he put darkness between you and the Egyptians.” This generation had not been born at that time. Nonetheless, Joshua read refers to them as if they had been there. They recognized the debt that was created by their forefathers. They realize God’s faithfulness to their forefathers and therefore to them as well. The chapter and the book ends with this ominous foreshadowing in verse 31, “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.” That while Israel served God, that generation following generations would forget or not appreciate all that God had done for them through their forefathers.
Application – How does it work?
This is a great example of the doctrine of grace. God had chosen Abraham even when he was worshiping other gods. Not because Abraham was so good of so righteous. He was not.
God has given us a great inheritance. He is shown as mercy. He has given His grace. It is by His mercy and His grace that we draw our next breath. For, if we got what we deserved, we would all be in burning in hell right now. It is only by the grace of God that we continue to enjoy his creation. Yet like the following generations of the Israelites we forget or don’t appreciate what we been given. Those of us who have been saved by grace, should recognize we owe God everything. We owe Him our praise, our love, our devotion, our worshipped, and our very lives. Understanding the doctrine of grace is what the Israelites in this chapter understood. They understood they did not follow the law of God simply because He gave it. They did not follow the law of God simply because it was their duty. They followed the law of God because they loved God. Because, they realized the goodness of God and their own wickedness. The answer to how overcome anger, fear, desperation, jealousy, greed is not to work hard at overcoming these. The answer is to better understand who you are and who God is. Only then will you understand the grace of god, the mercy of god and you’ll be humbled to the point where anger, fear, desperation, and greed are not a problem. The only problem you will to face is the inadequacy of your worship of God, all other problems are insignificant. The reason your worship is inadequate is because as Joshua said in verse 19,” “You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy God.” We cannot even worship God without His help.