Let’s Review the Terms of the Agreement

Joshua 24:1-13
1Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. 3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. 4 And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5 And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out. 6 “ ‘Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7And when they cried to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time. 8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.’

As Joshua prepares to transfer the leadership of God’s people into the hands of another, he takes the time to review what the Children of Israel have received from the Lord and he goes back into their history for the message. He recounts for them a story they all know well. But it is an important story and one they simply cannot forget.

In these 13 verses we find a review of the pivotal covenant God made with their ancestor, Abraham. That agreement had been forged almost 500 years earlier. Now they were the recipients of some of the blessings of those promises made by God. For us, 500 years seems like an incredibly long time – because it is. For God, those years are but a blink. And 4,000(ish) later, those promises are important to us as well. Not only did God promise to turn Abraham into a mighty nation, He promises to give that nation the very land both Abraham and Joshua’s generation were standing on. And inside of those very tangible promises is the knowledge that God is ultimately going to solve our sin problem through the sending of His Son as our Messiah. This is an important reminder of what is to come for God’s people.

We read these words and remember that God always keeps His promises. Joshua reviews the story both for the the people who were listening to him and for us, who read these words and appropriate the blessings that are still to come. We are the adopted descendants of the promises made to Abraham (and Adam and Eve). It is good for us to review the terms of the agreement as well.