SCRIPTURE: Joshua 24:28-33
1. “Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance” – The idea of inheritance is important because it goes back to God’s promise to Abraham, to give him a place to call home (Canaan). But it also recalls the fact that sin has made us homeless, separated from God and the world, like restless wanderers driven from the land(Genesis 4:13-14). The promise of an inheritance is a promise that one day we will be restored in God’s world, once more living in the Paradise that He created for us. This verse is an anticipation of this!
2. “Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel” – Those who lived through it, who personally experienced the grace and power of God, remember and serve the Lord. But as long as the next generations only live on the faith and experience of their parents, it will not be real and personal for them. God has no grandchildren, the saying goes. Everyone needs to know and experience Him for themselves, otherwise their faith will be a hollow form. We see in Judges 2:10-12 that the generations after Joshua “who knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel” forsook the Lord and did what was evil.
3. “And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem” – This is another promise fulfilled. Joseph had asked to be buried in the promised land (Genesis 50:25, Exodus 13:19). It was an act of faith, trusting that though they were in Egypt at that time, God would keep His promise and give them the land promised to Abraham. The specific burying place was a piece of land bought by Jacob (Genesis 33:19), but was also the center of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph. Here we see the invisible hand of God tying lose ends together, for His purpose!
Lord, thank You that in the little details as well as in the grand scheme of things, it all fits together, and it all fulfills Your purpose. Help us to appreciate the intricate wonder and goodness of Your unfolding purpose and love. Amen.