Joshua 22 Ė 24
Tonight we will be finishing up the book of Joshua as we examine the last† 3 chapters of this interesting book. Lets begin in,
Joshua 22:1 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh,† 2 and said to them: "You have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you.† 3 "You have not left your brethren these many days, up to this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the LORD your God.† 4 "And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brethren, as He promised them; now therefore, return and go to your tents and to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan.
Now in last part of chapter 21 the word of God has already made it clear that the land promise God made to Abraham has been fulfilled, however these verses add more proof because the only way that Moses would agree for these 2 and half tribes to live on the other side of Jordan was if their fighting men would stay with the children of Israel until the promise land was conquered. This is found in Numbers 32. We even find Joshua reminding these 2 Ĺ tribes about the their commitment they made to Moses in Joshua -15. Now notice in our current text that Joshua is telling them you have fulfilled your commitment and now you can go back home to your families. Again, this further proves that that the land promise had been fulfilled. But notice the warning that Joshua gives these tribes.
Joshua 22:5 "But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul."
Here Joshua gives some great advice to these tribes† and for the most part is great advice for the Christian as well.
1. They were to take CAREFUL HEED to do the commandments of the law. This would apply to us as well except of course we need to take careful heed to Christ law and not Moses law and we are to be doers of it.
James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only.
we see they were to Love God. This should be easy for them and for us today
considering that God has loved us first. For the children of
Matthew Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'† 38 "This is the first and great commandment.
3. They were to walk in all his ways, keep his commands and to hold fast to them. You might recall when God told Joshua not to turn from Gods word to the right or to the left. Well that is exactly what as Christians are to today. We need to do our best stand firm on Gods word.
4. Joshua tells them to serve God with their whole heart and their whole soul. This means that they were to commit themselves to God and put him first in their lives. The same thing is true for us today. Since God has done such a great thing for us the least we can do is to commit our lives to serving him and doing it with our whole heart and soul. We would all do good to take to take heed to these words.
Now Joshua did not send these men home empty handed.
Joshua 22:8 †"Return with much riches to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with bronze, with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren."
Now what happens next
shocks the children of
Joshua 22:10 And
when they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of
Canaan, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of
Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan -- a great, impressive altar.† 11 Now the children of
These guys were probably
thinking we should have never let these tribes separate themselves from them
from us on the other side of the
Joshua 22:13 Then
the children of Israel sent Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the
children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to half the tribe of Manasseh,
into the land of Gilead,† 14
and with him ten rulers, one ruler each from the chief house of every tribe of
Israel; and each one was the head of the house of his father among the
divisions of Israel.† 15 Then
they came to the children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to half the
tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them,
saying,† 16 "Thus says
the whole congregation of the LORD: 'What treachery is this that you
have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following
the LORD, in that you have built for yourselves an altar, that you might rebel
this day against the LORD?† 17
'Is the iniquity of Peor not enough for us, from which we are not
cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the
LORD,† 18 'but that you must
turn away this day from following the LORD? And it shall be, if you rebel today
against the LORD, that tomorrow He will be angry with the whole congregation of
the children of
Joshua 22: 21
Then the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of
Manasseh answered and said to the heads of the divisions of Israel:† 22 "The LORD God of gods, the
LORD God of gods, He knows, and let Israel itself know -- if it is in
rebellion, or if in treachery against the LORD, do not save us this day.† 23 "If we have built ourselves
an altar to turn from following the LORD, or if to offer on it burnt offerings
or grain offerings, or if to offer peace offerings on it, let the LORD Himself
require an account.† 24
"But in fact we have done it for fear, for a reason, saying, 'In time to
come your descendants may speak to our descendants, saying, "What have you
to do with the LORD God of
Now that they understand what the whole purpose of the alter was and that they were not rebelling against God this made them happy and they went on their way. Now in chapter 23 we can read an awesome sermon given by Joshua. In fact I am going to add very few comments to these wonderful words.
Joshua 23:1 Now it
came to pass, a long time after the LORD had given rest to Israel from all
their enemies round about, that Joshua was old, advanced in age.† 2 And Joshua called for all
Joshua reminds them of what God has done and is doing how he keeps his promises to those who follow after him. He reminds them to follow Godís word carefully. I like how he gives the idea that 1 man can take down a 1000 with God on their side. Then he wants them to never to forget to love God.
Joshua 23: 12 "Or else, if indeed you do go back, and cling to the remnant of these nations -- these that remain among you -- and make marriages with them, and go in to them and they to you,† 13 "know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations from before you. But they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.† 14 " Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.† 15 "Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all the good things have come upon you which the LORD your God promised you, so the LORD will bring upon you all harmful things, until He has destroyed you from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.† 16 "When you have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed down to them, then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which He has given you."†
You see there are always consequences to rebelling against God. As Job rightly said,
Job 1:21And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."
Just as God had blessed
the children of
Joshua 24:1 Then
Joshua gathered all the tribes of
Joshua whole message is
summed up in this last verse and it applies to every single one of us today. We
need to choose who will serve today. Are serving God or are we serving our self
or the world? Where does you commitment lie? Are you putting God first in your
life or is he second or third? I think we need ask ourselves these question
from time to time to make sure we have our priorities straight. Well, lets look
at the children of
Joshua 24:16 So the
people answered and said: "Far be it from us that we should forsake the
LORD to serve other gods;† 17
"for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out
of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in
our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the
people through whom we passed.† 18
"And the LORD drove out from before us all the people, including the
Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the LORD, for He is our
God."† 19 But Joshua said
to the people, "You cannot serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He
is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your
sins.† 20 "If you forsake
the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume
you, after He has done you good."† 21
And the people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve the LORD!"† 22 So Joshua said to the people,
"You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD
for yourselves, to serve Him." And they said, "We are witnesses!"† 23 "Now therefore," he
said, "put away the foreign gods which are among you, and
incline your heart to the LORD God of
The children of Israel make the right choice and decide to they will serve God as well and hope everyone of† here has made that same decision to serve God and to serve him alone.
Joshua 24:29 Now it
came to pass after these things that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the
LORD, died, being one hundred and ten years old.† 30 And they buried him within the
border of his inheritance at Timnath Serah, which is in the mountains of
Ephraim, on the north side of
This brings us to the end of the life of Joshua a man worth emulating as servant to God. I hope these lesson from Joshua has shown you the importance of putting you trust and† faith and God and has shown how important it to keep Godís commandments and not to veer of to the left or to the right. We have also learned that God keeps his promises and he will be there for us to help us fight against sin. So,† I hope to lesson to heart.