April 29, 2022 - Joshua 19-24
Finishing well is a difficult task to accomplish. For many, their lives are filled with activity and adventure to the end. That was the case for many of the characters in the Bible as they approached the conclusion of their lives. Moses went up into a mountain and the Lord took him even though his eyes were not dimmed, nor his natural vigor diminished (Deuteronomy 34:7). Jacob blessed all his sons and drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last (Genesis 49:33). Elijah was walking with Elisha when the Lord came and took him up in a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Workers of God continued to work right up until the Lord called them home.
The same is true with Joshua here at the end of this book. He had accomplished what the Lord had enlisted him to do with the people of Israel. As he finished the distribution of the land to the tribes, he calls the people of Israel together one last time. He challenged them before the Lord with a recitation of how God had delivered them from all their enemies. His message to the people contained a proclamation of God's ability to continue to bless this people if they first feared the Lord and worshipped Him loyally. Secondly, they were to rid themselves of all false gods and idols of Egypt and Mesopotamia and lastly, they were to choose to serve the Lord and Him alone.
Joshua concluded by writing in the book of the Law of God. He took a large stone and set it up under the oak (24:26), and then at 110 years old died. His work was completed, and he finished what the Lord desired him to accomplish.
Finishing well is a worthy goal as one labors diligently until the end. Jesus and Paul both reached the conclusion of their lives and uttered similar statements. Jesus stated, "It is finished" (John 19:30), and Paul proclaimed, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).
The Lord's challenge is still for us to finish well and to remain faithful. Daily Hope began in March 2020 and prayerfully it has provided consistent encouragement to readers throughout the time of COVID until the present. I encourage you to maintain a systematic reading and study of God's word. If possible, continue reading through the Bible this year. A study Bible or Bible commentary offers helpful notes and outlines on each book of the Bible. As Paul challenged the believers at Philippi, I too urge you to, "... press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).