Dave Burnette's Commentary

Joshua Chapter 24

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Joshua 
Date Penned: (1406-1370 BC)
Overview: A Record of Israel in the Promised Land (c 1-24)
Theme: Dividing the Promised Land (c 13-24)
Message: Leaders are Buried in the Promised Land (v 1-33)

Joshua 24 Commentary

(24:15) A Quiet Rebellion - The people had to decide whether they would obey the Lord (who had proven his trustworthiness or follow the local gods (which were only handmade idols). Eventually, we see that they would not be intentional about obeying God and would foolishly drift toward the customs of their pagan neighbors. We can easily slip into a quiet rebellion, going about life in our own way. But the time will come when we have to choose who or what we will follow. The choice belongs to each of us. Will it be the one true God or an imperfect or sinful substitute? Seek each day to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Invite him daily to rule your heart, mind, and desires (Romans 8:9). Then it will be much more difficult to drift away from him.

(24:15) Joshua's Commitment to God - In taking a definite stand for the Lord, Joshua again displayed his spiritual leadership. Because Joshua had made a commitment to God, he was determined to set an example of living by that decision, regardless of what others decided. The way we live shows others the strength of our commitment to serving God.

(24:16-21) Israel Fails to Keep its Word - All the people boldly claimed that they would never forsake the Lord. The nation followed God throughout Joshua's lifetime, a great tribute to Joshua's faith in God and powerful leadership. But they did not keep that promise, even though Joshua warned them of the consequences. Very soon, God would charge them with breaking their covenant with him Judges 2:2-3). Talk is cheap. We can say we will follow God, but living like we mean it is much more important. Look back to the promises you made to God earlier in your life. Are you keeping them with the fresh enthusiasm you had then? Review the commitments you have made to God, and renew your promise to keep them.

(24:23) Israel Fails to Destroy all Idols - Joshua told the Israelites to destroy their foreign gods--their idols. To follow God requires destroying whatever gets in the way of worshiping him. We have our own idols--greed, disordered priorities, jealousy, prejudice--that get in the way of worshiping God. God is not satisfied if we merely hide these idols. We must completely remove them from our lives.

(24:24-26) Teach Your Children - The covenant between Israel and God was that the people would worship and obey the Lord alone. Their purpose was to become a holy nation that would influence the rest of the world for God. The conquest of Canaan was a means to achieve this purpose, but after this generation, a new generation would stop following the Lord, forgetting all the great things he did for their ancestors and worshiping false gods (see Judges 2:10-4). The same can happen in our own lives. The people of Joshua's generation promised to serve the Lord alone, but the very next generation forgot this and went back on the promise their parents had made. We must be vigilant both in rooting out our own idols and sinful practices and in teaching others who come after us to follow God faithfully.

(24:29-31) Joshua Finished Well - The book of Joshua opens with a new leader being handed a seemingly impossible task--to lead the nation in taking over the land of Canaan. By following God closely, Joshua led the people through military victories and faithful spiritual obedience. In 24:16 we read that the people were sure they would never forsake the Lord. The response of the whole nation during these many years is a tribute both to Joshua's leadership and to the God he faithfully served.

(24:33) Joshua and Eleazar Die - Joshua and Eleazar died, but not before laying before the people the fundamentals of what it means to live faithfully before God. We are to fear and serve the Lord alone (24:14). This is based on a choice: to obey him instead of following other gods (24:15). We are incapable, however, of properly worshiping him because of our rebellion and sins (24:19). By choosing God as Lord, we enter into a covenant with him (24:25) whereby he promises not only to forgive and love us, but also to enable us by his Spirit to do his work here on earth. This covenant requires us to renounce the principles and practices of the culture around us that are hostile to God's plan (24:23). This is not to be done alone but by binding ourselves together with others who have faith in God just as Moses instructed in Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Totally Sold Out to the Lord

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Joshua with Chapter 24 and we see the end of Joshua's life. Today we see Joshua addressing all of Israel and them promising to worship and obey the Lord and following His death we see Him buried in the promise land. In making application we see the benefit of living a Godly life. Joshua is an example to us of how to live a successful Christian life. He stayed faithful and in the end influenced a whole nation. It reminds me of great preachers of the past like Spurgeon who lived a godly life and influenced nations. How about you? Do you see the potential in your life for living a life that is totally sold out to the Lord. Let us learn from Joshua and live a life totally dedicated to the Lord which will influence nations.


Joshua 24

Joshua 24

 1And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

 2And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

 3And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.

 4And I gave unto Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

 5I sent Moses also and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out.

 6And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea.

 7And when they cried unto the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.

 8And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

 9Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:

 10But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

 11And you went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand.

 12And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.

 13And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.

 14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

 15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 16And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

 17For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

 18And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.

 19And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.

 20If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.

 21And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.

 22And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.

 23Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.

 24And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.

 25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

 26And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD.

 27And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

 28So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.

 29And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.

 30And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash.

 31And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel.

 32And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

 33And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.