Summary of Joshua 24:14-33:
Joshua tells the people to fear the Lord and serve Him in all your faithfulness. Choose whom you will serve: the Lord or pagan gods. The people repeated their history and swore to obey and serve God. The Israelites witnessed for themselves that they chose to serve the Lord and not bring disaster on themselves for doing otherwise.
Joshua renewed the covenant with the Lord for the people and wrote down the laws in the Book of the Law of God and marked the place with a holy stone to be a witness to the words spoken at Shechem.
Joshua died at 110 years old and was buried in his inherited land in Ephraim. Israel continued to serve God after Joshua’s death. Joseph’s bones were re-buried at Shechem. Eleazar died as well.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 5, Day 5: Joshua 24:14-33:
13) Part personal Question. My answer: Choose whom you will serve: the Lord or pagan gods. Every day we choose to serve God by doing what Jesus would do or serve ourselves by putting our interests first, and doing what we want to do. We choose sin over obedience. By discouraging instead of encouraging. By not forgiving instead of forgiving. By withholding help. Being mean. Choosing to hurt others.
14) Part personal Question. My answer: Joshua has known the Israelites for 100 years now. He understands man’s nature, and I’m sure he knows they will one day turn from God. He wants to reiterate the importance in hopes the Israelites will stay true to God. Joshua is seeking a deep commitment, not a light-hearted agreement. Repetition is a good tool for learning and imprinting in one’s mind. Say something over and over again, and it becomes truth.
15) God wants the people to only love and obey and worship. He wants our undivided devotion. With godly jealousy God is the recipient of our desire. We are jealous for the will of God in a situation. We are jealous for Him to be glorified. Godly jealousy wakes us up at night to intercede for a lost loved one. Godly jealousy motivates us to confront a sinning brother or sister when we don’t want to, in order to save them from the enemy (James 5:20). Godly jealousy created difficulties and sorrows for Paul because he refused to stop speaking the truth, even when his hearers did not want to listen (2 Corinthians 5:14). Godly jealousy is love in action (1 Corinthians 13:4–7).
Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 5, Day 4: Joshua 24:1-13:
I love how Godly jealousy is love in action. Read this SNIPPET to see where I got my answer to question 15. We so want God in our lives that we’re jealous when we don’t have Him. Jealousy is when you covet something for yourself. Godly jealousy is when you covet God in any situation. Awesome!
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 5, Day 4: Joshua 24:1-13:
There were all kinds of gods the Israelites had encountered in Canaan:
- Joshua 24:2-4–on the other side of the Euphrates were the gods of Sumerian and Babylonian culture – gods of heritage.
- Joshua 24:5-7a –on the other side of the Red Sea were the gods of ancient Egypt – gods of upbringing.
- Joshua 24:7b-13 and 24:15 –as the Israelites crossed the Jordan there were the gods of the Amorites – gods of your culture
Joshua states one of the most famous verses and bible sayings here: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” The Hebrew here has a fuller meaning as in continuous action: I have chosen and I will continue to choose God.
What Choices Has Joshua Made?
- Joshua chose to fight against the Amalekites – choosing when it might cost everything.
- Joshua chose to reject the golden calf – choosing when the flesh might be satisfied.
- Joshua chose to serve the Lord by serving Moses – choosing a humble place.
- Joshua chose to believe God’s promise about the Promised Land – choosing against the majority.
- Joshua chose to recognize the leadership of the Captain of the LORD’s army – choosing surrender to God.
- Joshua chose to take leadership of Israel and lead them into the land – choosing faith instead of unbelief.
Joshua recognizes he was responsible for the choice of his household to serve the Lord as well.
Joshua’s choice to serve God showed:
- No hesitation.
- He was not influenced by others.
- It was solemnly made
- It was openly made.
- He followed through.
- He never strayed and followed God his entire life.
Joshua wants full commitment to follow God and a knowledge of the consequences if not. Jesus expressed the same kind of warning, explaining that following Him took total commitment (Luke 14:25-33). It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t want followers, but He did not want lightly made and easily broken commitments.
Why the Stone as a Witness?
The covenant needed the testimony of two witnesses, the people and the stone. Therefore, this was a binding covenant before God (Deuteronomy 19:15).
This covenant is similar to other ancient times covenants between a king and his people, especially among the Hittites.
Where did Joseph’s Bones come from?
This may seem like an inconsequential point, but it fulfills Genesis 50:25. God likes to tie up loose ends. This is also mentioned in Hebrews 11:22 as an example of Joseph’s faith. For well over four centuries Joseph’s remains have been preserved in Egypt, waiting for the fulfillment of the Promised Land. For 40 years, the tribes have carried Joseph’s bones during their desert wanderings. Now, at least, Abraham’s descendants have come home.
Eleazar was a witness to the crossing of the Red Sea. Another link to the past is gone.
We are still called to conquer our wildernesses–this time, Jesus is our guide. Is he your guide through the wilderness?
Fun Fact: The Israelites established at least 7 memorials to remind future generations of what God has done in their lives (see chapters 4, 7, 8, 10, 22). Even if people forgot their debt to God, the land would speak its own story.
A Look Ahead–Free Choice
The choice may seem obvious: choose God, especially after all He has done for the Israelites. Still, the Israelites have a choice: follow God or follow the gods of those whose land they have entered. For now, all swear allegiance to God. But as we’ll see in Judges, many choose otherwise.