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Text: Joshua 23:1-16
1. Illustration: A forgetful husband thought he had conquered the problem of trying to remember his wife’s birthday and their anniversary. He opened an account with a florist, provided him with dates and instructions to send flowers along with an appropriate note signed, "Your loving husband." His wife was thrilled by this new display of attention. All went well until one day, many bouquets later, when he came home, kissed his wife, and said offhandedly, "Nice flowers, honey. Where’d you get them?"
2. Imagine how the Lord must feel when we forget all that He has done for us?
3. All too often we take what the Lord has done for us for granted.
a. We take for granted His salvation
b. We take for granted His abundant mercy
c. We take for granted His grace
4. In the first part of Joshua’s farewell address, he reminds the Israelites of:
a. The Call to remember all that the Lord has done for them
b. The Challenge to remain faithful
c. The Consequences for being unfaithful
5. Read Joshua 23:1-16
Proposition: After all the Lord has done for us, how can we do anything than be thankful.
Transition: We need to remember...
I. The Call (1-5)
A. Called Together
1. The chapter begins with "The years passed, and the LORD had given the people of Israel rest from all their enemies."
a. The "years past" refers to the time from the beginning of the book, as they prepared to enter the land, until the end of Joshua’s life.
b. At this time, the Lord has given them rest from their enemies. Their was still land to conquer, but the constant fighting and battling had ceased.
c. This shows that the Lord has kept all his promise that He made at the very beginning of the book.
d. Joshua 1:13 “Remember what Moses, the servant of the LORD, commanded you: ‘The LORD your God is giving you a place of rest. He has given you this land.’
2. However, at this time Joshua is very old, and knows that he is nearing the end of his life.
a. It has been estimated that Joshua was about 110 years old at this point (Woudstra, 332).
b. He knew that he would not be around much longer, and he wanted to remind them of what the Lord had done for them.
3. He, therefore, called all of the civic leaders together and said, “I am now a very old man.You have seen everything the LORD your God has done for you during my lifetime. The LORD your God has fought for you against your enemies."
a. The phrase "you have seen" indicates that they themselves had been witnesses to the mighty hand of God on their behalf.
b. The reference to God’s fighting for Israel repeats the idea that the land was God’s and that he would give it to them—(New American Commentary)
c. Joshua is pointing out to them that the only reason that they are in the land and enjoying rest is because of what the Lord has done.
d. They can’t take the credit for it, because if it wasn’t for the Lord it never would have happened.
4. Joshua not only reminds them of what the Lord has done for them, but what He will do for them. He says, "I have allotted to you as your homeland all the land of the nations yet unconquered, as well as the land of those we have already conquered—from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea in the west."
a. Joshua tells them not only of the Lord’s past deliverance, but that He was going to continue
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