In this 24th and last chapter of the Book of Joshua, the man Joshua is aware that his life is near its end. Knowing that this might be his last chance to address, encourage and inspire the Israelites, he gathers the nation together and reviews with them God's history with the nation and renews the covenant between God and His people. I see a few things in this event that are worth noting and, most importantly, imitating.
- At this time of change and transition (maybe even doubt and fear as the Israelites contemplate the loss of Joshua as their leader) the people are encouraged by looking back and rehearsing God's faithfulness and activity on their behalf and are reminded of His promises for them in the future.
- Remembering the covenant is not just a history exercise. As the people consider God's promises to the people, they are also reminded that obedience is the required right response to God - it is their part of the covenant to keep.
- Joshua points out that, in their own strength, the people will be unable to fulfill the covenant and that they will need to rely on God's power to live in right relationship with Him.
- Joshua's life and leadership caused the nation to serve God faithfully throughout his lifetime.
- Joshua leaves behind a legacy of godly leadership in the elders that he mentored and trained to lead the Israelites when he passes on.
Maybe today we could all renew our covenant with God. Take some time to look back at God's promises and faithfulness in your life. Look anew at God's will for us as it is revealed in the word. As we discern who God is and what His plan for our life is, let us consider - in view of all of His goodness - "How now shall we live"? As we seek to live lives of holiness in response to God, may we remember that only by relying on the power of the indwelling Spirit can we ever hope to know God's heart and walk in His ways. Let us encourage each other and spur one another on to good works Finally, let us pass on these things to our children and their children. in such a way that provides the Church with godly leadership, strength and vision for generations to come.