Joshua 24* God's benefits to their fathers. (1-14) Joshua renews thecovenant between the people and God. (15-28) Joshua's death,Joseph's bones buried, The state of Israel. (29-33)1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our lifeis done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected,like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further servicefor us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in ChristJesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour'sgoodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations withwhich the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assemblycame together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to themin God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrineand application. The doctrinal part is a history of the greatthings God had done for his people, and for their fathers beforethem. The application of this history of God's mercies to them,is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for hisfavour, and that it might be continued. 15-28 It is essential that the service of God's people beperformed with a willing mind. For LOVE is the only genuineprinciple whence all acceptable service of God can spring. TheFather seeks only such to worship him, as worship him in spiritand in truth. The carnal mind of man is enmity against God,therefore, is not capable of such spiritual worship. Hence thenecessity of being born again. But numbers rest in mere forms,as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice;but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God ornot. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laidplainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did.Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim againstthe stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do.And no one can behave himself as he ought in any station, whodoes not deeply consider his religious duties in familyrelations. The Israelites agree with Joshua, being influenced bythe example of a man who had been so great a blessing to them;We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men do, bytheir influence, if zealous in religion. Joshua brings them toexpress full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord. They mustcome off from all confidence in their own sufficiency, elsetheir purposes would be in vain. The service of God being madetheir deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemncovenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting mannerJoshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, theirblood would be upon their own heads. Though the house of God,the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which wehave uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would bearwitness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, thathe will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not departfrom him. God alone can give grace, yet he blesses ourendeavours to engage men to his service. 29-33 Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning hisbones, that they should not rest in their grave till Israel hadrest in the land of promise. Notice also the death and burial ofJoshua, and of Eleazar the chief priest. The most useful men,having served their generation, according to the will of God,one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus,having spent and ended his life on earth more effectually thaneither Joshua or Joseph, rose from the dead, and saw nocorruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit thekingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world.They will say in admiration of the grace of Jesus, Unto him thatloved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hathmade us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him beglory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
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