Verse 1&2 of chapter 23 in Joshua read like this: “A long time afterward, when the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years, Joshua summoned all Israel…” Knowing his life on earth was near its end, Joshua takes one last stand as the great leader of Israel and calls together a meeting of the people to take them on a trip down memory lane. As I read these verses I wondered what “rest” would have looked like for Joshua and the people of Israel? I can imagine that they began to settle in and build for themselves a home, a place were they could raise their families, establish their crops and get busy with life.
Even today we may find the same type of “rest”; we can become complacent with life, we can develop a sense of comfort within the day-to-day happenings and lose sight of where we have been and maybe even forget where we are heading. Like Joshua we need to take hold of the opportunities once and a while to look back on how God has been faithful to us in the past. We need to reflect not only on the good things in life but the things that were hard and how as a church or individual we have grown through those experiences.
Moving forward Joshua reminded the people of Israel that they needed to “fear the Lord, and serve Him with all faithfulness”. (24:14). Joshua challenged their faith and they responded by pledging to faithfully serve the Lord. This is my job; this is every leaders job in the church today, we must be taking our cues from men like Joshua. We must be marching forward serving the Lord and serving others so they might know who writes our story. We like the Israelites have to be reminded to serve with all faithfulness in obedience to the Lord’s commands.