Joshua 24:1
Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges, and officers of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.
Public WorshipS.R. Aldridge Joshua 24:1
Review of ProvidenceW.F. Adeney Joshua 24:1-13
The Renewal of the CovenantE. De Pressense Joshua 24:1-22
Dying ChargesW. E. Knox, D. D.Joshua 24:1-33
Joshua's Last AppealW. G. Blaikie, D. D.Joshua 24:1-33
Joshua's Last FarewellG. W. Butler, M. A.Joshua 24:1-33

And they presented themselves before God. Eminent servants of God were remarkable for their solicitude respecting the course of events likely to follow their decease. "When I am gone let heaven and earth come together" is a sentiment with which a good man can have no sympathy. Note the instructions given by Moses (Deuteronomy 31.), David (1 Kings 2.), Paul (2 Timothy 4:1-8), and Peter (2 Peter 1:12-15). As Jesus Christ looked to the future (John 14-17.; Acts 1:3), so did His type Joshua. He was determined that the people should be bound to the service of the true God, if solemn meetings and declarations could bring it about. Nothing should be wanting on his part, at any rate. The gathering of the Israelites may remind us of the purposes for which we assemble every Lord's day. We come -

I. TO MAKE SPECIAL PRESENTATION OF OURSELVES BEFORE GOD. Always in the presence of the Almighty, yet do we on such occasions "draw nigh" to Him. The world, with its cares and temptations, is for a season excluded. We leave it to hold more immediate intercourse with our heavenly Father. We approach to pay the homage that is His due from us. Surely those who plead that they can worship in the woods and fields as well as in God's house, in solitude as in society, forget that the honour of Jehovah demands regular, public, united recognition. We have to consider His glory, not only our individual satisfaction. "I will give Thee thanks in the great congregation." It is our privilege also to proffer our requests, to implore the blessings essential to our welfare.

II. TO LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD. We have the "lively oracles," the revelation of God to man. It behoves us to give reverent attention thereto. In business or at home other matters may distract our attention; here we can give ourselves wholly to the "still small voice." It may instruct, inspire, rebuke, and comfort. The utterance of God's messenger claims a hearing as the message from God to our souls. "Thus saith the Lord" (ver. 2). The speaker may

(1) recall the past to our remembrance. Joshua reviewed God's dealings with His people, speaking of their call (ver. 2), deliverance from bondage (ver. 5), guidance (ver. 7), succour in battle (vers. 9-11), and possession of a goodly land (ver. 13). Such a narrative is fruitful in suggestions; provocative of gratitude, self abasement, and trust.

(2) State clearly the present position. Acquainted with God and the rival heathen deities, it was for the Israelites to make deliberate choice of the banner under which they would henceforth enrol themselves. In God's house Christians are taught to regard themselves as "strangers and pilgrims," as "seeking a better country," as those who are "on the Lord's side." If they will they may turn back and desert the Master whom hitherto they have followed. There must be "great searchings of heart."

(3) Briefly sketch the future. Religion does not confine itself to the narrow region of present circumstances; it looks far ahead, desires no man to take a leap in the dark, but rather to weigh calmly the respective issues dependent upon the actions of today. None who have experienced the tendency of earthly occupations to absorb, to engross the interest, will deny the advantage accruing from the quiet contemplations of the sanctuary, where it is possible to calculate correctly afar from the bustle of the city, where on wings of the spirit we rise to an altitude that dwarfs the loftiest objects of worldly ambition, and brings heaven and its glories nearer to our view.

III. TO RECONSECRATE OURSELVES TO GOD'S SERVICE. We remain the same persons and yet are continually changing. Like the particles of the body, so our opinions, affections, etc., are in unceasing flux. To dedicate ourselves afresh is no vain employment. It brightens the inscription, "holiness unto the Lord," which time tends to efface. Are not some idols still in our dwellings? some evil propensities indulged, which an exhortation may lead us to check? To keep the feast we cast out the old leaven. Man is the better for coming into contact with a holy Being. The contrast reveals his imperfections and quickens his good desires.

CONCLUSION. If inclined to say with the men of Beth-shemesh, "Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?" (1 Samuel 7:20) let us think of Christ, who has entered as our Forerunner into the Holiest of all. In His name we may venture boldly to the throne of grace. Some dislike the services of the sanctuary because they speak of the need of cleansing in order to appear before the Almighty. Men would prefer to put aside gloomy thoughts and to stifle the consciousness that all is not right within. But does not prudence counsel us to make our peace with God now, to "seek Him while He may be found," clothed in the attribute of mercy, instead of waiting for the dread day when we must all appear before the judgment seat, when it will be useless to implore rocks and mountains to hide us from the presence of Him that sits upon the throne? Behold Him now not as a Judge desirous to condemn, but as a Father who hath devised means whereby His banished ones may be recalled, who waits for the return of the prodigal - yea, will discern Him afar off, and hasten to meet him in love. - A.

Cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day.
I. SIN HAS NATURALLY IN ITSELF A TENDENCY TO THE RUIN OF ANY NATION. We may easily see that when a people grow regardless of the laws of God they want the greatest obligations of obedience to the laws of men.

II. SIN MAKES GOD AN ENEMY. God presides with a peculiar providence over societies and communities of men. We may learn from the history of all past ages and the frequent smart of our own that the government of God is ever administered according to the nature of men's actions; that He dispenses His favour to a people, or withdraws it from them, as virtue or vice, religion or impiety, respectively prevail among them. But perhaps it may be said by some who are ready to impute all successes to themselves, "What need we to call in Providence in all difficulties?" Now this, give me leave to prove more particularly, by considering those three main props on which the weight of states and empires may seem to them, who look not far into things and their causes, wholly to rely; that is, worldly providence, or policy in contriving; courage and force in executing great designs; and a wise improvement of both these, by firm and well-grounded confederacies. But alas! in these, barely considered, there can be no safety, because no human foresight can reach those many accidents, the least of which may alter the best-laid counsels; nor any human courage, though never so well seconded, be sure to execute them, since the very execution of them is attended with so many circumstances as may produce effects quite different from what they proposed.


1. That all national favours flow purely from God, I will presume has been sufficiently proved, as being beyond the single or united force of human policy, courage, or the firmest alliances: if so, what is it more than our bounden duty, and justice, to acknowledge unfeignedly the gift to God, who desires no more for the giving it? He is not bettered by our thanksgivings, yet is pleased with the gratitude.

2. We ought to break off the course of those sins which will estrange God from us, and deprive us hereafter of all such extraordinary successes.

(Bp. Trelawney.)

Sketches Four Hundred Sermons.
I. THE DUTY THE TEXT RECOMMENDS. Cleaving unto the Lord evidently implies —

1. Previous union with Him.

2. Faithful adherence to Him. Our religion must be uniform and constant; we must not only come to the Lord as humble penitents, but also adhere to Him as His indefatigable servants.(1) We should cleave to His name; as the fountain of all goodness, from whom we receive every blessing; and therefore should continue to love, obey, hope, and trust in Him, as the God of our salvation (Isaiah 12:2; Habakkuk 3:18).(2) We should cleave to His Word; by faithfully reading its contents, imbibing its doctrines, obeying its precepts, and by making it the perpetual subject of our meditation and prayers, and the infallible rule of our faith and conduct (Psalm 119:18, 148; John 5:39; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).(3) We should cleave to His ways; by diligently discharging all personal and relative duties, constantly attending all the means of grace, working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and by "walking in all the commandments and ordinances blameless."(4) We should cleave to Him at all times: in prosperity and adversity, in tribulation and distress, in health and affliction, in life and death; implicitly trusting "in the Lord for ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength."

II. THE IMPORTANCE THE TEXT INVOLVES. This evidently appears, both from the solemnity of the occasion on which it was delivered, and the fervency of the manner in which it was urged on the tribes of Israel.

1. This duty is reasonable (John 6:67-69; Romans 12:1, 2).

2. This duty is honourable. Instability in religion is peculiarly disgraceful (2 Peter 2:20-22). It is extremely weak and childish, and should be carefully avoided, as displeasing to God, and dishonourable to our holy profession (Ephesians 4:14).

3. This duty is profitable. It is only by cleaving unto the Lord that we can maintain personal piety, overcome our enemies, encounter difficulties, rejoice evermore, triumph over death, and "lay hold on eternal life" (Deuteronomy 4:3, 4; Psalm 57:7; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8).

4. This duty is indispensable. Final perseverance is necessary to final salvation. He only that "endures to the end shall be saved" (1 Corinthians 15:2; Romans 2:7; 2 Peter 1:10, 11).


(Sketches Four Hundred Sermons.)

Aaron, Amorites, Balaam, Balak, Beor, Canaanites, Egyptians, Eleazar, Esau, Girgashite, Girgashites, Hamor, Hittites, Hivite, Hivites, Isaac, Israelites, Jacob, Jebusites, Joseph, Joshua, Nachor, Nahor, Nun, Perizzites, Phinehas, Seir, Serah, Terah, Zippor
Canaan, Egypt, Euphrates River, Gaash, Gibeah, Jericho, Jordan River, Moab, Red Sea, Seir, Shechem, Timnath-serah
Assembled, Authorities, Calleth, Chiefs, Convened, Elders, Gathered, Gathereth, Got, Heads, Joshua, Judges, Leaders, Officers, Officials, Overseers, Presented, Responsible, Shechem, Station, Summoned, Themselves, Tribes
1. Joshua assembles the tribes at Shechem
2. A brief history of God's benefits from Terah
14. He renews the covenant between them and God
26. A stone the witness of the covenant
29. Joshua's age, death, and burial
32. Joseph's bones are buried
33. Eleazar dies

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Joshua 24:1

     7719   elders, as leaders
     8145   renewal, people of God

February the Tenth Registering a Verdict
"The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice will we obey." --JOSHUA xxiv. 22-28. Here was a definite decision. Our peril is that we spend our life in wavering and we never decide. We are like a jury which is always hearing evidence and never gives a verdict. We do much thinking, but we never make up our minds. We let our eyes wander over many things, but we make no choice. Life has no crisis, no culmination. Now people who never decide spend their days in hoping to do so. But this kind of life
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

A Summary of Israel's Faithlessness and God's Patience
'And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. 2. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? 3. Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jesus Sets Out from Judæa for Galilee.
Subdivision B. At Jacob's Well, and at Sychar. ^D John IV. 5-42. ^d 5 So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 and Jacob's well was there. [Commentators long made the mistake of supposing that Shechem, now called Nablous, was the town here called Sychar. Sheckem lies a mile and a half west of Jacob's well, while the real Sychar, now called 'Askar, lies scarcely half a mile north of the well. It was a small town, loosely called
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Meditations for Household Piety.
1. If thou be called to the government of a family, thou must not hold it sufficient to serve God and live uprightly in thy own person, unless thou cause all under thy charge to do the same with thee. For the performance of this duty God was so well pleased with Abraham, that he would not hide from him his counsel: "For," saith God, "I know him that he will command his sons and his household after him that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

The Promise to the Patriarchs.
A great epoch is, in Genesis, ushered in with the history of the time of the Patriarchs. Luther says: "This is the third period in which Holy Scripture begins the history of the Church with a new family." In a befitting manner, the representation is opened in Gen. xii. 1-3 by an account of the first revelation of God, given to Abraham at Haran, in which the way is opened up for all that follows, and in which the dispensations of God are brought before us in a rapid survey. Abraham is to forsake
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12). In our last chapter we considered at some length the much debated and difficult question of the human will. We have shown that the will of the natural man is neither Sovereign nor free but, instead, a servant and slave. We have argued that a right conception of the sinner's will-its servitude-is essential to a just estimate of his depravity and ruin. The utter corruption and degradation of human nature is something which
Arthur W. Pink—The Sovereignty of God

And for Your Fearlessness against them Hold this Sure Sign -- Whenever There Is...
43. And for your fearlessness against them hold this sure sign--whenever there is any apparition, be not prostrate with fear, but whatsoever it be, first boldly ask, Who art thou? And from whence comest thou? And if it should be a vision of holy ones they will assure you, and change your fear into joy. But if the vision should be from the devil, immediately it becomes feeble, beholding your firm purpose of mind. For merely to ask, Who art thou [1083] ? and whence comest thou? is a proof of coolness.
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Covenanting Performed in Former Ages with Approbation from Above.
That the Lord gave special token of his approbation of the exercise of Covenanting, it belongs to this place to show. His approval of the duty was seen when he unfolded the promises of the Everlasting Covenant to his people, while they endeavoured to perform it; and his approval thereof is continually seen in his fulfilment to them of these promises. The special manifestations of his regard, made to them while attending to the service before him, belonged to one or other, or both, of those exhibitions
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him,
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

Moses and his Writings
[Illustration: (drop cap W) Clay letter tablet of Moses' time.] We now begin to understand a little of the very beginning of God's Book--of the times in which it was written, the materials used by its first author, and the different kinds of writing from which he had to choose; but we must go a step farther. How much did Moses know about the history of his forefathers, Abraham and Jacob, and of all the old nations and kings mentioned in Genesis, before God called him to the great work of writing
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making

"The Carnal Mind is Enmity against God for it is not Subject to the Law of God, Neither Indeed Can Be. So Then they that Are
Rom. viii. s 7, 8.--"The carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." It is not the least of man's evils, that he knows not how evil he is, therefore the Searcher of the heart of man gives the most perfect account of it, Jer. xvii. 12. "The heart is deceitful above all things," as well as "desperately wicked," two things superlative and excessive in it, bordering upon an infiniteness, such
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Gen. xxxi. 11
Of no less importance and significance is the passage Gen. xxxi. 11 seq. According to ver. 11, the Angel of God, [Hebrew: mlaK halhiM] appears toJacob in a dream. In ver. 13, the same person calls himself the God of Bethel, with reference to the event recorded in chap. xxviii. 11-22. It cannot be supposed that in chap xxviii. the mediation of a common angel took place, who, however, had not been expressly mentioned; for Jehovah is there contrasted with the angels. In ver. 12, we read: "And behold
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Manner of Covenanting.
Previous to an examination of the manner of engaging in the exercise of Covenanting, the consideration of God's procedure towards his people while performing the service seems to claim regard. Of the manner in which the great Supreme as God acts, as well as of Himself, our knowledge is limited. Yet though even of the effects on creatures of His doings we know little, we have reason to rejoice that, in His word He has informed us, and in His providence illustrated by that word, he has given us to
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The book of Joshua is the natural complement of the Pentateuch. Moses is dead, but the people are on the verge of the promised land, and the story of early Israel would be incomplete, did it not record the conquest of that land and her establishment upon it. The divine purpose moves restlessly on, until it is accomplished; so "after the death of Moses, Jehovah spake to Joshua," i. 1. The book falls naturally into three divisions: (a) the conquest of Canaan (i.-xii.), (b) the settlement of the
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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