Summary: Remember how you get here and guard what you have received.
We’ve come to the end of the book of Joshua. Last two chapters and last words of Joshua. He spoke what is most important for the people – the safeguards for their relationship with God.
We are very concern with self-preservation. We uses all kinds of gadgets today to protect ourselves and our stuff.
• We have home alarms, fire alarms, car alarms. We use double locks on our doors and install hidden cameras.
• We guard our online sites with security tokens, passwords and PINs. We protect our possessions with locks and chains.
• We buy home insurance, fire insurance and travel insurance.
• We take extra efforts and pay extra money to make sure our physical lives and possessions are protected. This is fine and good.
But what about our souls? What about our spiritual well-being? Do we guard it with the same diligence and fervency?
• Do we pay attention to the safeguards of our soul? What am I talking about? Our relationship with God. Our spiritual well-being.
• If we care so much about the physical and the material, we ought to be equally concern about the spiritual.
Jesus shared a parable about a rich man (Luke 12:18-20) who builds bigger barns to store his extra grain and goods.
• It was a good plan. With plenty of stuff stored up for his retirement he says he can take life easy; eat, drink and be merry. (12:19).
• But he missed out on the spiritual, the most important part of life. God said, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.” (12:20).
• He died that night, without the chance to enjoy what he has prepared. He lost everything. Sad and pitiful.
• Jesus: “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (12:21)
Jesus says, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37).
• Have you been paying attention to your life with God, your walk with Jesus?
In the final chapters of the book of Joshua – 23 and 24 - we read of Joshua’s TWO farewell speeches. He was now old and well-advanced in years (23:1).
• Chapter 23 records his last words to the leaders – elders, leaders, judges and officials. Chapter 24 his last words to the people of Israel.
• As can be expected, these are very important words, coming from a dying man.
Joshua was concerned about their relationship with God. Can they remain faithful to God? Will they heed His commands? Will they continue to love and obey Him?
• What would you say to the next generation as you pass on? What did Joshua say?
1. REMEMBER HOW YOU GET HERE
In short, Israel has gotten to where they are BY THE GRACE OF GOD. Joshua started both farewell speeches the same way – recalling God’s faithfulness.
• He reminded them of God’s past deeds, how God had fought and driven out the nations for them. They did not achieve this on their own.
• Take a look at his speech to the nation (Josh 24:1-13) - Joshua listed out the acts of God towards them, beginning with Abraham’s call (beyond the river Euphrates) in verse 2 to the conquest of the land in verse 13.
• Making references to Isaac, Jacob and Esau; the deliverance from Egypt; the wilderness experience; Balaam’s forced blessing, and the victories over the nations. Verse 1-13 spans over 600 years.
Look at the emphasis on GOD (in first person) – this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says (24:2): I took, I led, I gave, I assigned, I sent, I brought, I destroyed, I delivered.
• The point is obvious – Israel got to where they are today BECAUSE of God.
• They were blessed by the gracious acts of God, and not by means of their own strength. 24:12 “You did not do it with your own sword and bow.”
• 24:13 – they did not toil, did not build, did not plant, but they are now enjoying everything.
Remember this. We did not get here by ourselves. We are where we are today BECAUSE of the grace of God. We are blessed by the kindness of God.
• Don’t boast about what we’ve achieved. Don’t boast about how good we are.
• “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord!” Paul says. (1 Cor 1:31, 2 Cor 10:17)
• We are saved by His grace, we are kept by His grace.
God has done everything He can to bless Israel. He initiated every step to bring Israel to where they are.