09 Joshua -Renewing the Covenant at Schechem

UNIT #: 
II
Aim: 

Fulfilment of God's promise and renewal of covenant

Bible Passage: 

Joshua 24:1-33

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Tribes Renew the Covenant

24 Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac; and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in its midst; and afterwards I brought you out. When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your ancestors with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. When they cried out to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did to Egypt. Afterwards you lived in the wilderness a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan; they fought with you, and I handed them over to you, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. Then King Balak son of Zippor of Moab, set out to fight against Israel. He sent and invited Balaam son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you; so I rescued you out of his hand. 11 When you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I handed them over to you. 12 I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove out before you the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and towns that you had not built, and you live in them; you eat the fruit of vineyards and oliveyards that you did not plant.

14 “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18 and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.”

19 But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, we will serve the Lord!” 22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24 The people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and him we will obey.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem. 26 Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak in the sanctuary of the Lord. 27 Joshua said to all the people, “See, this stone shall be a witness against us; for it has heard all the words of the Lord that he spoke to us; therefore it shall be a witness against you, if you deal falsely with your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away to their inheritances.

Death of Joshua and Eleazar

29 After these things Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being one hundred ten years old. 30 They buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

31 Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the Lord did for Israel.

32 The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem, in the portion of ground that Jacob had bought from the children of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for one hundred pieces of money; it became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.

33 Eleazar son of Aaron died; and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of his son Phinehas, which had been given him in the hill country of Ephraim.

Teacher’s Preparation: 

Being faithful to Lord under all circumstances is a key aspect in defining Christian life. Lives of our forefathers are prime example of strong faith in God that Joshua is talking about. Relating experiences of our parents and us and connecting them with Joshua’s life will help students in relating how the faith as practiced by Joshua 3000 years ago are still relevant in today’s world.

Main Ideas: 

Think of how much Lord protected us and our forefathers in a similar manner as Joshua and his previous generations were protected and provided. The faith and practices that we follow influence the lives of countless other around us.

Billy Graham's Einstein Speech

http://www.billygraham.org/In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte , North Carolina , invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor.

Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggled with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, "We don't expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you." So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, "I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time Magazine as the 'Man of the Century.'

Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn't there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it.

The conductor said, 'Dr. Einstein, I know who you are.  We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it.'

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, 'Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are No problem. You don't need a ticket.  I'm sure you bought one.'

Einstein looked at him and said, 'Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going.'"

Many times in our daily lives we seem to be lost and needs direction. It is our faith that grounds us and guides us. As shown above the faith is what tells us who we are in our lives and where we go because the Lord guides us through our journey and provides us with the direction.

 

 

Activities: 

Find through books or internet life of one person who showed throughout his/her life impeccable faith in Lord. Share this story of this person in the class next week and what are the things that we learn from this person's life.

Activities2: 
Lesson Review: 

Joshua starts the chapter by referring to Abraham who rejected his religion and people to follow God in its entirety, by breaking away from one kind of worship and rejecting idolatry and following Jehovah the Lord and urges Israelites to do the same. Joshua follows subsequent generations of Abraham by showing them how Abraham was blessed with Isaac and through him a generation that flourished under Jehovah's safe arms.

Shown below is the family tree of Terah (Could be shown on the side also).

Through his speech on the patriarchs Moses and Aaron, Joshua shows how lord did through his great might delivered Israelites from Egypt and protected them during their desert journey and has been with them all through the years protecting them and providing for them.

Joshua goes on to explain the journey of Israelites through the promised land and how Lord delivered them from the people who lived in those lands such as Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. He shows how in each of these cases it was not by the might of Israelites but by the power of God alone that all these parts of promised land were given to them. When we think of this today, think about the absolute might Lord had in delivering to Israelites a large number of nations, their people and land. Joshua through the following of history shows how Israelites were given a land that was not theirs, buildings that they did not build and vineyards and plantations that they did not pant. This is very important point where Lord shows how he can do seemingly impossible things in our life when we practice and follow him.

Joshua also know that the people of Israel followed practices of idol worship and faith that were not along the same lines of thought as dictated by God. Joshua through verses from 19 to 22 depicts the face of God that is different from caring and providing God that Israelites had seen. He shows a Lord that will punish them for following the people and faith of the Land and practicing Idolatry that is absolutely unacceptable to Lord.

Joshua made a covenant with people of Israel at Shechem, in following Lord all through their lives and above all renouncing current practices of faith which they had adopted from the foreigners. After making sure that Israelites had understood the relevance of Lord Jehovah through their past history and importance of following him in their everyday lives and for next generation, he passed away.

 

How does the faith demonstrated by Joshua relate to our lives?

Most of us in our daily lives in school and outside are faced by circumstances where we need to practice righteous living. This requires true understanding of bible and being faithful to word of God, which is possible only if we follow God the same way as Joshua followed. Many times in our daily lives we encounter situations and circumstances where we need to say boldly regardless of what happens we will be following God. This is the true testimony of our lives which we can follow and imbibe through the life of Joshua.

Values for Life: 

Practicing the faith and following Lord is a very important part of our everyday lives. We through our daily practices of bible reading, prayer and following Lords words will be able to build a meaningful and faithful life as Joshua had commanded to Israelites.

Life Response/My Decision: 

One of the ways to follow our faith, spend some time reading bible and praying everyday. It is this faith that enabled our parents to teach us the bible the way we know it.

 

 

Fill in the blanks.

  1. “Now therefore ______________, and serve him in _________________; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve _____.
  2. The people said to Joshua, “The _________, and him we will obey.”

Short Answer

  1. Explain through the history of Israelites how Lord protected and provided for the people of Israel.
  2. What does Joshua's speech and life teach us in our daily lives.
Memory Verse: 

Joshua 24:15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Closing Prayer: 

Conclude the class with a prayer

status: 
scope and sequence