The story continues…
Part 25 (Joshua 23,24)
When Joshua makes his farewell address (Joshua 23) to all the tribal chiefs and representatives – the men who will be responsible for leading the nation after his death – he says nothing of his own achievements, but gives all the credit for ‘his’ successful military campaigns to God. The next generation will likewise be completely dependent on God’s help. This is not an invitation for them to sit back and wait for God do all the work, but an encouragement to claim the victory that He has promised.
Joshua then invites all the people to look back over their own history, to see what God has done for them (Joshua 24:1-13). Their ancestor Abraham had not sought God; but God had chosen him, and promised him a family and a homeland. When his descendants became enslaved in Egypt, it was God who eventually rescued them, defeating the Egyptian army and then bringing them safely through the wilderness. He gave them victory over their enemies, and protected them from spiritual attack (in the form of Balaam’s curses). He continued to help them after they entered Canaan; they had not won their battles by their own strength or skill (Psalm 44:3). The original promise to Abraham has been kept: the rich and fertile land where they now live is theirs by God’s gift.
The God who has done all this for His people deserves nothing less than their complete loyalty and full devotion (Joshua 24:14). Men grow old and die; generations come and go; but God does not change, and He remains faithful. What He has started, He will finish. ”He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) The story continues – and we can be part of it.