The Covenant at Shechem and Joshua’s Death (Joshua 24:1 – 33)

Joshua calls together the tribes and children of Israel to recount the history of God’s deliverance of Israel from the bondage in Egypt, their trek through the wilderness, and their conquest of Canaan.  He then calls upon them to fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth.  He challenges them to serve God only and not the gods of the land.  He then makes the challenge that is so famous now, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  The people responded with their pledge to serve the Lord.  Joshua warned them what would happen if they did not serve God, and they again committed to serve Him.  Joshua called them as witnesses against themselves, and charged them to put awaythe foreign gods among them.  At that point, he made a covenant with them in Shechem, wrote the words in the Book of the Law of God.  He took a large stone, and set it up under the oak by the sanctuary of the Lord.  The stone would be a witness of the covenant.

After this, Joshua died at the age of one hundred and ten years.  He was buried in the land of his inheritance at Timnath Serah.  Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and of the elders who outlived Joshua.

Especially at the end of a Christian’s life, we reflect on what type of heritage we leave behind.  Joshua was concerned that Israel would embrace the gods of Canaan.  He longed for Israel to serve the one true God, and challenged the Israelites to do just that.  What heritage are you leaving for those who follow you?  What is the inheritance they will embrace?  It is not so important the amount of money, property, or belongings they receive as it is the spiritual capital that is left behind.  Leave a solid foundation of Jesus Christ for your children, and they will be rich beyong measure!

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