Monday Reflections – November 2, 2020 – Joshua 24: 1-3, 14-25- The Conquest

This week we are looking at Joshua 24: 1-3, 14-25.  Today, I want to set the table for you today. What’s happening leading up to this moment, and that I will talk about the conquest.  Joshua comes to lead the people after Moses, the great leader.  Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy is in many ways, the story of Moses and the people. Moses comes in Exodus 3 and we see God raising Moses to be the Great Leader of the people. Moses comes to lead the people out of slavery in Egypt into freedom. And of course, the people are faithful, and sometimes in some ways, they fall away. But they are being formed by God in the wilderness. They’re getting law, they’re getting all things that they need to follow God completely. So Moses is amazing. In fact, Deuteronomy ends with Moses’ death and saying that no one has ever risen as great as Moses. Okay. So then we get to Joshua. 

It’s one thing to be the great leader. It’s another thing to follow the great leader. Joshua follows Moses. And that’s a great challenge. And Joshua begins with God telling Joshua, be strong. Be courageous. As I was with Moses, I will be with you. We see that happen here. And then the rest of Joshua is what’s called the conquest, where the people, they have great victories like Jericho, They have moments of great defeat in Ai,  where they don’t obey fully. And because of that, they suffer defeat. And we see in Joshua that pattern is set, really all the way through Joshua into judges, Franklin is throughout the rest of Scripture. Because they went to great victory and moments of great failure. And so we see the conquest that leads up to this moment here is in many ways, a story of Israel’s sort of obedience, but sort of disobedience.  They obey. And they fall, they obey, and they fall, they get it right, they get it wrong, we see this constant in their lives. And so we come to this renewal moment, where Joshua is going to die, his death is imminent. And before he passes into glory, they reaffirm the covenant. And Joshua basically says this, choose, choose, choose who you’re going to serve, you can serve God. Or you can serve the gods, the gods of your neighbors. But choose. And so this is a powerful moment, almost like a wedding. 

But what I want you to hear is that this has all been leading to this moment here, Joshua was going to die. The people now are going without this great leader, and he’s telling them to choose. And the people of Israel throughout their entire history, have always a faithfulness, modes of failure, faithfulness, failure, faithfulness, failure, that’s judges. That’s all the Old Testament. And frankly, that’s our entire stories in this well. faithfulness, failure, faithfulness, failure, and we serve a God who doesn’t give up on us, even in our failure. 

One of my favorite quotes is by Rich melons, where he says, when we come to Christ, we must give God both our virtues and our vices. Because the Holy Spirit will in time, burn away our vices.  Its our virtues that can be dangerous because our virtues can make us think we can stand on our own two feet. The people of Israel, they’ve been faithful, they’ve fallen. The reality is, they need God when they are faithful and when they are fallen because they’re their worth doesn’t come from their correct obedience. And they’re the and they aren’t disowned because they fell. They are found completely and totally in the grace of Christ.

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