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2 June 2020 – Joshua 24:25-28

On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. 26 And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD. “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the LORD has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.” Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to their own inheritance. – Joshua 24:25-28

Adolph Harstad writes:

Joshua 24:28 serves as a neat statement of closure: “Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his own inheritance.” Joshua has completed all the work that the LORD called him to do. That he can rightly dismiss the people to their land inheritance is the proof. The word “inheritance” again stresses two central truths. First, the LORD has fulfilled His promise stated at the opening of the book. He said that Joshua “will cause this people to inherit the land.” Now His people are dismissed, each to his “inheritance,” just as the LORD had promised. They have what he said they would have. Second, the land is God’s freely given gift. Hence the land to which they now go is described as “inheritance,” not property they earned, purchased, or deserved. It is a gift of grace from the LORD, who was “warring” for His people, and who Himself achieved the victory for their benefit.

… As Israelites travel home, “each to his own inheritance,” they can contemplate the blessings of being God’s covenant people. At the end of the trip home, they will find down-to-earth proof of the goodness of their covenant LORD. Their own personal inheritance of land is that proof. Then as they work the fields and gardens of their land inheritance, the very dirt under their fingernails is an earthly reminder of the promise of eternal things. When the time is fully right, the Seed of their ancestor Abraham will come as promised and will be planted in this soil. And just as a seed must die or germinate to produce many seeds, so at the appointed hour that Seed will die on the soil of the promised land to produce many “seeds.”

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 68
Q. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the life of others.