Reading through the Bible together
God made a covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai (see Ex. 19:3-6 and 20:1-7), an Moses renewed it with them before he died (Deut. 29 and 30). In this chapter Joshua renews the covenant again before he dies.
Here he reviews the story of what God has done for Israel. He brought them out of slavery in Egypt and opened a path through the sea. He have them the land of the Amorites east of the Jordan River, and turned Balaam’s curses into blessings. Then the Lord broke down the walls of Jericho and gave them the land of the seven tribes of Canaan, sometimes by sending hornets to drive them out (v. 12).
Now Joshua challenges the children of Israel to choose the Lord as their God forever. Three times they take a vow to be faithful to the Lord (vv. 16, 21, 24). Then Joshua writes these things in the Book of the Law and erects a stone monument as a witness to their vow (vv. 26-27). The people kept their promises as long as they lived, all who had seen what the Lord had done for them (v. 31).
Today we also should remember the many gifts the Lord has given us. Jesus came to live and die for us. He became our Mediator in heaven. He promised that He will return and take us to our heavenly Promised Land. We ought to review His gifts to us often, and with a heart full of gratitude renew our commitment to Him (see Matt. 26:27-28 and Heb. 8:8-12).
Retired Professor and Missionary