Scripture: Joshua 22-24. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
In the Book of Numbers, the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had been given land on the east side of the Jordan River. They first had to promise to help the other tribes conquer the land on the west side, and they had carried out their promised tasks. Now, in these chapters of Joshua, these tribes were allowed to return to their families and build their cities. The Israelites were worried that without some visible sign of unity between the people on the two sides of the Jordan River that future generations might see conflict between them all. An altar was built to remind the people that they all worshiped the same God. It was time for Joshua to pass on, so he called all the leaders of Israel together to give them his final words of encouragement and further instruction. Joshua told the people to throw away their false gods or idols and to be loyal to God. Joshua made a covenant for the Israelites. Joshua died at 110 years of age, and Eleazar also passed away.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
The eastern tribes had promised to help the other tribes conquer the land on the west side of the Jordan River. God always wants us to follow through with His work, fighting the temptation to quit early. Never leave God’s work undone. Joshua pointed out to the Israelites that obedience should be based on love for God. Joshua reminded God’s people not to forget about their spiritual responsibility, even though they had completed their military responsibility. Sometimes we get preoccupied with thinking about the things we are to do that we forget about who we are to be. Joshua had made a commitment to God and displayed his spiritual leadership. The way we live shows people around us the strength of our commitment to serving our God. The Israelites said that they would not forsake the Lord, but they did not end up keeping their promise. It is easy to say that we will follow God, but we must also show that we live like it.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for this beautiful day, another opportunity to serve and follow You. Please help us to always follow through with the work You have for us, Father, fighting the temptation to quit early. Help us always to remember who You created us to be, setting aside time each day to spend with You. Help us to live the way You want us to, Lord, showing others around us the strength of our commitment to serving You. Let us be Your hands and feet in this world, Father. Guide us and protect us on our paths in life, always steering us in the right directions. Please be with all of our friends and families as we go about our day, and please, Father, lift up our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for loving and following You. Please protect them. Forgive those who are harming them. Please forgive us for our sins, as well. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.