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20 May 2020 – Joshua 22:1-9

Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the LORD your God gave you. Now that the LORD your God has given them rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan. But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Then Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their homes. (To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan, and to the other half of the tribe Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan along with their fellow Israelites.) When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them, saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth—with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing—and divide the plunder from your enemies with your fellow Israelites.”
So the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan to return to Gilead, their own land, which they had acquired in accordance with the command of the LORD through Moses. – Joshua 22:1-9

Adolph Harstad writes:

While Joshua acknowledges the obedient service rendered by the soldiers he is dismissing, he also knows that the old Adam or sinful nature still resides in God’s people as long as they live on this earth, even though they are new creations through faith. God’s minister therefore adds urgent exhortation. Those tribes will be going home in long caravans heaped with “much wealth”; “with silver, with gold, and with iron, and with very many clothes” (22:8). They will also take with them “very much livestock” (22:8) – larger herds and flocks to add to the stock already in the pens they built back home perhaps a decade ago (Num 32:16). All this is not their true treasure. The LORD and His holy covenant with Israel are their unique and everlasting wealth. So Joshua urges them to remain faithful to the LORD, who, in the fulness of time (Gal 4:4), will give the world its priceless treasure through this covenant nation: Jesus Christ. …

Covenant faithfulness, Joshua impresses, does not consist of mere outward obedience. Lover for the LORD, who loved Israel first and by grace established his covenant with her, is the very heart of faithfulness. The first and greatest commandment was given through Moses and was repeated by the One to whom Moses and all the prophets testify: “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” The verb in “to cling to Him” is the same as in Gen 2:24, where God says that a man will “cling/cleave to” his wife and the two shall become one flesh.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 57
Q. 57. Which is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.