There is a wonderful structure in Joshua’s speech. In verses 3-133Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.4To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau, and to Esau I gave Mount Seir to possess it; but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt.5Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt by what I did in its midst; and afterward I brought you out.6I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and Egypt pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.7But when they cried out to the LORD, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your own eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness for a long time.8Then I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan, and they fought with you; and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land when I destroyed them before you.9Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel, and he sent and summoned Balaam the son of Beor to curse you.10But I was not willing to listen to Balaam. So he had to bless you, and I delivered you from his hand.11You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho; and the citizens of Jericho fought against you, [and] the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Girgashite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Thus I gave them into your hand.12Then I sent the hornet before you and it drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, [but] not by your sword or your bow.13I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’ he presents to the people the great deeds of God. Many times we read there the word ‘I’, which refers to God. With Abraham the election of God comes to the fore. Through Moses and Aaron God shows that He is the Deliverer of the people. When He has brought the people into the land, He is the Conqueror of the enemies. Verse 1313I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’ rightly says: “I gave you a land.”
After these words, the people are faced with the choice of who they want to serve. We are also faced with this choice, after all the blessings given to us in Christ have been recited to us. Is it a difficult choice?
All the people have said that they will serve the LORD, but very soon it appears what their words are worth. The book of Judges provides the proof. What remains then? A personal choice! Can we repeat Joshua with all our heart: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (verse 15b15If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”)?