Eastern Tribes Return Home/Joshua's Farewell/Covenant Renewed
Passage: Read Joshua 22-24
Introduction: In chapters 15-21, the land is divided among the 9-1/2 tribes and the Levites. After the division of the land, the two and one-half tribes (Reubenites, Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh) return home to their inherited land east of the Jordan. Joshua encourages them to obey the Lord and to serve Him with all their heart and soul (see Matthew 22:37-39). They build an altar as a reminder that they still belonged to the nation of Israel and would continue to worship the Lord. Joshua delivers his final message to the people of Israel. Joshua reminds them of the wonderful things God has done for them and encourages them to stay close to Him and to obey Him. He also warns them that if they turn from God, His judgment would be upon them. In chapter 24, Joshua gathers the people once again and recognizing they are surrounded by idolatry, he calls them to a real dedication to God, a turning of their lives completely to Him.
1. (vv. 10-20) Why were the western tribes prepared to do battle over the issue of the altar?
2. What can we learn from this story about confronting those whose actions seem offensive, and our attitude towards those who have misunderstood our actions? (see Matthew 18:15-20; Ephesians 4:32)
3. How does Joshua exalt God in his farewell address? How does it motivate us to be faithful to God?
4. What insight do Joshua’s words provide Israel (us) in dealing with the unbelieving world around them (us)?
5. Why do you think the Lord led Joshua to recount Israel's history from beginning to end? What opportunities do we have to tell about what God has done in our lives?
6. (vs.15) Why might serving God seem undesirable to the Israelites? In what ways is it difficult for us to serve the Lord (in our daily lives)? What makes serving God worthwhile?
By Kevin Haag. © New Testament Christian. Website: new-testament-christian.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.