Isn’t it amazing that you can read the beginning of Joshua 24 and know some of the names written there? You know Abraham. You know his son, Isaac. Isaac was the one who was almost sacrificed on the mountain. You know Jacob and Esau, the twins. Jacob tricked his brother out of his inheritance. You know that Jacob was renamed Israel. You know Jacob’s children. You know Jacob’s sons (including Joseph) went to down to Egypt. After 400 years you remember meeting Moses and Aaron and the plagues and Pharaoh and the rescue. I’m so glad that you and I both know the story even better than ever!

Another Land and Other Gods

When Joshua begins to retell the story of the history of what God has done with the people he reminds them that there was a time when they were no people at all. There was just Terah and his boys and they served other gods in another land. The story that God is telling in the lives of these people is a story of bringing them out of idolatry and bringing them to the worship of the One True God!

The Story of Joshua

The events of the book of Joshua, between chapters 1 and 24, tell how God used Joshua to conquer the land of Canaan, to take over their cities and establish what would become the land of Israel. God did mighty things to rescue the people of Israel and given them victory over their enemies.

Unfortunately the story is also riddled with times that the Israelites failed to trust in the Lord, or became ignorant or became mixed up with the false gods of the people of Canaan. This multitude of unfaithfulness will continue to be a thorn in their side throughout the rest of the story of the Old Testament.

The Faith of Joshua

Joshua, on the other hand, is a man of beautiful faithfulness. His epitaph reads, “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel (Joshua 24:31).” Joshua is unlike even the kings that will come after him. He was faithful and led the people in faithfulness. Right until the end Joshua is warning the people to trust in the Lord for the Lord is holy, to worship Him alone.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15