Joshua and Judges: Joshua's farewell. A reminder of all that the Lord has done. Jos 23.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: Joshua's farewell. A reminder of all that the Lord has done. Jos 23.  


Announcements / opening prayer:



Jos 23-24; Joshua's farewell and death.


JOS 23:1 Now it came about after many days, when the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies on every side, and Joshua was old, advanced in years,


JOS 23:2 that Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders and their heads and their judges and their officers, and said to them, "I am old, advanced in years.


JOS 23:3 And you have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you, for the Lord your God is He who has been fighting for you.


JOS 23:4 See, I have apportioned to you these nations which remain as an inheritance for your tribes, with all the nations which I have cut off, from the Jordan even to the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun.


JOS 23:5 And the Lord your God, He shall thrust them out from before you and drive them from before you; and you shall possess their land, just as the Lord your God promised you.


JOS 23:6 Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left,


JOS 23:7 in order that you may not associate with these nations, these which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them.


JOS 23:8 But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.


"as you have done to this day" - the nation as a whole has submitted to God and kept His law while under Joshua. Certainly there are some individuals who have not.


God dealt with Israel as a nation. There are always some bad apples and they suffer the consequences of their decisions before God. We must always remember that the church is not a nation. Bad churches that teach falsehood continue to go on. We don't see them being invaded by other powers. In the church it is the individual soul that is dealt with by God, which it was in the time of Israel as well, but added to that was the dealings with Israel as a nation, which no longer exists.


During the Middle Ages the Roman Catholic church functioned as a nation and it resulted in evil practices, policies, and doctrines. There is no government in the church, nor head other than Christ.


After the fall of the Roman empire it would take centuries to rebuild much that had been destroyed in Europe, not only in terms  of roads, buildings, and aqueducts, but also in terms of literature, art, and knowledge of the physical world. In all of these fields, it was the church that provided continuity with the past. It became the guardian of civilization and of order. In many ways, the church filled the vacuum left by the demise of the empire. Centuries later, when the empire was resurrected in the west, this was accomplished through the action of the church, and it was the pope, the bishop of Rome, who was crowned its emperor.


The Roman Empire in the East continued for another thousand years, but the West was in chaos. It was the Germanic invasions that brought about the great upsurge in the pope's authority. In the West the church became the guardian of what was left of ancient civilization, as well as of order and justice. Thus, the most prestigious bishop in the West, that of Rome, became the focal point for regaining unity that had been shattered by invasions.


Pope Leo III crowned Charles I, king of the Franks, emperor of the West in 800. He would become known as Charlemagne. The fact that the bishop of Rome crowned an emperor reveals the western church's political power.


In the eighth century Muslim invasions, and the Christian reaction to them, continued and accelerated the process of militarizing Christianity, which had long been developing. The first Christians would have been strictly against this, but as Christianity spread through military ranks and Christians saw themselves as protectors of civilization after the fall of the empire, they developed a Just War Theory, which made it acceptable for Christians to use violence under some circumstances. When the Muslims took over the East and the South (northern Africa) and invaded Spain, Christianity became radically militarized and in a few centuries they would begin the first of several crusades intent on taking back formally Christian lands.


Much that was evil came from making the church into a nation with a government and a standing army. The church is not this.


JOS 23:8 But you are to cling to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.


JOS 23:9 For the Lord has driven out great and strong nations from before you; and as for you, no man has stood before you to this day.


Israel faced the great Jericho, the southern confederation of kingdoms and the northern confederation of kingdoms, all stronger than them on paper, but none could stand against them.


JOS 23:10 One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.


Israel lives directly in the fulfilling of promises made to them years before.


DEU 7:1

"When the Lord your God shall bring you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and shall clear away many nations before you"


DEU 7:24

And He will deliver their kings into your hand so that you shall make their name perish from under heaven; no man will be able to stand before you until you have destroyed them.


DEU 32:30

"How could one chase a thousand,

And two put ten thousand to flight,

Unless their Rock had sold them,

And the Lord had given them up?"


They can look right at their present circumstance and know that in their lifetime God has fulfilled His prophecy.


LEV 26:7-8

"But you will chase your enemies, and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword."


Every church age believer lives in the reality of hundreds of prophesies fulfilled. We are to remember them and cling to the Lord.


JOS 23:11 So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God.


"Diligent heed to yourself" is the same as the NT commands:


1CO 10:12

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.


1PE 5:8

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.


2Jo 8

Watch yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.


JOS 23:12 For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you,


JOS 23:13 know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.


If they "went back and clung" to the other nations turned, meaning that they gave up the faithfulness that this generation had to this day displayed towards Jehovah, and attached themselves to the remnant of these nations, made marriages with them, and entered into fellowship with them, which the Lord had expressly forbidden, let them know that the Lord their God would not cut off these nations before them anymore, but that they would be a snare and destruction to them.


Going back to the world always incurs deserved suffering and if unchanged, divine discipline.


REV 3:19

'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent."


The imagery that Joshua uses is a snare, trap, whip, and thorns in your eyes.