PASSING ON THE BATON
Thank You, God, for those who have shown me a faithful witness to Christ.
Read Joshua 23:1–11
Joshua’s Farewell to the Leaders
23 After a long time had passed and the Lord had given Israel rest from all their enemies around them, Joshua, by then a very old man, 2 summoned all Israel—their elders, leaders, judges and officials—and said to them: “I am very old. 3 You yourselves have seen everything the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the Lord your God who fought for you. 4 Remember how I have allotted as an inheritance for your tribes all the land of the nations that remain—the nations I conquered—between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 The Lord your God himself will push them out for your sake. He will drive them out before you, and you will take possession of their land, as the Lord your God promised you.
6 “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. 7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. 8 But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now.
9 “The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. 10 One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. 11 So be very careful to love the Lord your God.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectConsider those who have most influenced you as a Christian. Why were they so impactful?
My aging parents are very keen to pass on to their children and grandchildren their prized possessions. But not just material things. ‘Remember when’ is a constant refrain when I go to visit.
In our reading today we see Joshua advanced in years (1). He has faithfully led Israel. The land is at rest (Joshua 14:15b). The occupation is almost complete (5).
He gathers the leaders of Israel and commissions them to carry on his work (2). He calls them to remember (4): you are witnesses of what the Lord has done, he declares (3); God has been fighting for us (3,10); He has driven out our enemies (5,9).
And the challenge for them? It is now up to them as the next generation of leaders to keep God’s Word as their rule and guide (6). Resist compromise (7). Hold fast to the Lord to the end (8).
Such a challenge is ours as well. How can we ensure that our faith is passed on to the next generation? Could you find a young person to mentor?
Jesus, I pray for the young people in my church and community. Show me how I may encourage them toward a relationship with You.
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