Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« Tabletalk (from Ligonier) on the Three Forms of Unity | Main | Author's Forum With Dr. David VanDrunen, This Coming Friday, April 4 »

"All That Is Written in the book of the Law" -- Joshua 8:25-30

Joshua%20Conquest.jpgThe Eleventh in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Joshua

This is about as good as it gets.  In many ways, the events recorded at the end of Joshua chapter 8 are the high water mark of Old Testament redemptive history.  At long last, the people of Israel  have entered the promised land.  The Israelites have conquered the Canaanite cities of Jericho and Ai.  They have arrived at the city of Shechem in the valley between Mount Gerazim and Mount Ebal, and they have built an altar on Mount Ebal just as Moses had told them to do.  And there, in the very heart of that good land flowing with milk and honey which God had promised to give them, Israel renewed the covenant God had made with them more than forty years earlier in the barren wilderness at Mount Sinai.  This is truly a high point in redemptive history. 

But such moments are fleeting, sad to say, as the story of redemptive history is mostly downhill from here on.  At this moment in the story of redemption, Israel is obedient unto the Lord and therefore will receive great blessing.  But when Joshua eventually dies and Israel enters that period of biblical history known as the time of the judges, the people of God will forget YHWH and his law, and will do what is right in their own eyes.  Human obedience to the law is not only external and fleeting, but our good works can never remove our guilt before God.  Nor can the covenant God made with Israel and the revelation of his law on two stone tablets change the sinful human heart.  At our best moments, we fall far short of those things God demands of us under the law.  Looking back upon this period from the perspective of the coming of Jesus Christ, Paul tells us in Galatians 3 that all of these Old Testament events were intended to drive the people of God to faith in Jesus Christ, the greater Joshua.  And as we read in Hebrews 10, all of the wonderful things we read about in Joshua chapter 8 are mere shadows of good things yet to come, namely the blessings of the New Covenant, blessings we enjoy as a result of Christ’s saving work.

 Our current series on Joshua is part of a larger series entitled “I Will Be Your God and You Will Be My People.”  Throughout this larger series we have been working our way through the story of redemption, focusing on the history of the covenant of works and the covenant of grace as they unfold throughout redemptive history.  In this series so far we have covered the ground from Genesis 1:1 through the first eight chapters of Joshua.  We will now work our way through the rest of Joshua and the Book of Judges.

Recall that Israel had entered the land of promise under the leadership of Joshua, the covenant mediator who had taken the place of Moses.  Israel defeated two significant enemies before the nation marched to the place Moses had told them to go in Deuteronomy 27:4-5.  This covenant renewal ceremony on Mount Ebal was in many ways the theological climax of the entire Book of Joshua.  The people had entered the promised land, YHWH had given them the victory over their enemies, and the nation was obedient unto the Lord.  The people basked in the blessings of God and the nation renewed their covenant with YHWH.  But while all of this is good and entitles the nation of Israel to material blessings from the Lord (the land and its bounty, protection from enemies, and so on), it also hides the fact that the human heart is full of sin, and all those countless Israelites renewing the covenant need a Savior who can deliver them from the guilt and power of sin.  This is why Israel’s priests offer repeated sacrifices for sin, while the author of Hebrews reminds us that all of this is type and shadow, pointing us ahead to the reality, who is Christ.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.