The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make (Joshua 24)
Topic: Joshua Scripture: Joshua 24:1–24:33
First Scripture Reading: Exodus 23:20-33
Second Scripture Reading: Joshua 24:1-33
Sermon Text: Joshua 24:1-33
In his final speech to the nation of Israel, Joshua called the people to renew their covenant commitment to the Lord. Joshua was a part of the first generation of Israelites who came out of Egypt, and he saw the unfaithfulness of that generation as they grumbled against the Lord and turned away from him. As Joshua addressed the second generation who now inhabited the Promised Land, he reminded them of God’s grace and the demands God has of his people— namely to love him and worship him alone. God requires whole-hearted commitment from his people. When Jesus was asked about the commandments, he replied that the greatest is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38). Our desire as disciples of Christ should never be to see how little we can give to the Lord but to constantly strive to give him our all, promptly and sincerely.
1. For review, scan Joshua 23 to remind yourself about the contents of the chapter. What was so dangerous about Israel’s “mixing” with the nations around them? How does this apply to us as Christians?
2. Why does Joshua begin his speech in chapter 24 by reminding Israel of God’s grace before reminding them about what God requires? Where else do we find this pattern in Scripture of indicatives followed by imperatives?
3. What part of Joshua 24:2-5 indicates that God’s call to Abraham was gracious? Read and discuss Westminster Confession of Faith 10.1-2. Can we resist God’s effectual call?
4. How did God preserve his people according to Joshua 24:6-10? How does he continue to preserve his people today?
5. How did God graciously sustain his people according to Joshua 24:11-13? How does he continue to sustain us according to Westminster Larger Catechism Q/A 193?
6. What kind of commitment does God require according to Joshua 24:14-15? How did Jesus emphasize this kind of commitment in John 14:5-7?
7. What caution does Joshua give the people in 24:16-21? Why should we “count the cost” of discipleship according to Luke 14:25-33?
8. Why is it significant that Joseph asked that his bones be buried in the Promised Land (Genesis 50:24-26)? What does this reveal about his faith, and what does Joshua 24:32 reveal?