In the text, Joshua, the son of Nun and 110 years old, speaks to the leaders and elders of Israel in a message of farewell in the valley of Shechem. As they enter the Promised Land, he reminds them that all they have and all that they are has come to them from God. He tells them that God led them out of the wilderness, brought them across the Red Sea, and gave them water out of rock when they were thirsty. He wants them to remember and remain loyal as they now make choices and commitments that will shape their future. He challenges them to serve God exclusively and put aside the gods that their fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Joshua gave them three challenges:
- Fear the Lord and have a healthy respect for who God is.
- Put away false gods and do not make worldly things into gods; only worship God.
- Serve the Lord with sincerity. Don’t do things to gain God’s favor; don’t lose the substance of godliness.
Joshua said to the people, “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, choose this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (v. 15)
Pastor Davis reminds us that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The Bible is our standard for living. We have to train up young people so that they know God and teach them the things we learn from God.
Joshua wanted the people to serve God with authenticity. The grace we receive is unmerited favor. We do not deserve it and we cannot earn it. The grace of God is freely given. All we have to do is receive it, and trust God.