June 29 | Waking with The Word | Joshua 24 29-33
Joshua 24:29And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. :30 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. :31 And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel. :32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. :33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in a hill that pertained to Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim.
We've come now to the end of the book of Joshua and as does all things it ends in death but not only death but also we have a wonderful foreshadowing of resurrection in verse 32 that we will deal with later on. We have been marching slowly through he pages of the book of Joshua and page by page, chapter by chapter we have been coming ever closer to the close of the book today. Each verse brought us closer to the inevitable end of the life of Joshua and the close of this book. So is our course in this life. Every day, every hour, every minute draws us closer to the end of this mortal life. So is the course of this world everyday, every hour, every minute draws us closer to the great day that is coming that God will judge this earth. So is the course of the second resurrection, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute we are drawing closer to the day when "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:" Each chapter of life draws us closer to the close of all things that we know now. Let's determine to live our life in such a way that when our bodies are buried or called up that we can look back at the life we lived for the glory of God and see the difference He made.
It is almost impossible when coming to the end of anything, most especially a life, to pass it by without looking back and contrasting it to the beginning and middle that brought that life to its close. Consider where we started in the book of Joshua, on the other side of Jordan, in the wilderness. Consider the frailty and weakness of Israel, they had no land, they had no victories under their belt. The only thing this generation knew much about at that time was living in the wilderness. Now look at the position they have at the end of the book, they have houses and land, they have victory after victory that God has given them. They are in far better shape than they were at the beginning of the book of Joshua. Now look over your life, I sure hope you can say the same. If you lived your life on the right side of Jordan then you'll have victories to point back to, you'll have defeat to point back to but even the defeat was profitable for correction and experiential mercy and grace. When this life closes and your family gathers round what will they recall? I hope your life will be spent "conquering Canaan." Let us spend our life being a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Let us lay aside the weight of sin that doth so easily beset us. We have one life to live here on earth and the end of the this short one is beginning the eternal life in our final destination. How will you spend your life here? I hope you'll spend it in the service of the one who purchased your pardon with His own blood.
In closing I want to notice the significance of Verse thirty-two. This is a foreshadowing of the resurrection of believers that we will one day see. Joseph had believed that this day would come some 400 years before, He never seen the day that Israel would inherit the promised land but he believed it whole heatedly. Listen to Joseph's last words:
Genesis 50:24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he swear to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. :25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
Joseph never seen it but he believed it and when God brought to pass the promise He had made, not even his remains would be left behind. This reminds me so much of the countless number of Christians who have died waiting on the return of our Savior. Jesus promised He was returning one day and I'm convinced that every generation of Christians from His ascension to present day has lived with a yearning and belief that He would return within their lifetime. Whether we see it or not every passing year has brought us closer to the day this mortal shall put on immortality and we shall be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. Joseph's removal from Egypt and final burial in Canaan land was only symbolic and he was not able to enjoy the conscientiousness of living in the promised inheritance but our is far greater because it isn't symbolic and we will live and enjoy the inheritance and the place that he has gone to prepare for us. So great is that place that eye hath not seen nor ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man what he has prepared for us there!
So whether our life ends in the death of this mortal body our before that happens we are called away, we can rest assured in the promises of God. He is returning, there is a place He has prepared for us and whether by means of death or resurrection we will be in that final resting place one day.
Press on it won't be very long!!
Onward Christian Soldier!!