Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Joshua
Book: Joshua
Chapter: 24

God's benefits to their fathers. (1-14) Joshua renews the
Covenant between the people and God. (15-28) Joshua's Death,
Joseph's bones buried, The state of Israel. (29-33)

1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our Life
is done. If he lengthen out our days Beyond what we expected,
like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service
for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ
Jesus, will Glory in bearing the last Testimony to his Saviour's
Goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with
which the unmerited Goodness of God has bound him. The assembly
came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them
in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine
and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great
things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before
them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them,
is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his
favour, and that it might be continued.

15-28 It is essential that the service of God's people be
performed with a willing mind. For Love is the only genuine
principle whence all acceptable service of God can Spring. The
Father seeks only such to Worship him, as Worship him in Spirit
and in Truth. The Carnal mind of Man is Enmity against God,
therefore, is not capable of such spiritual Worship. Hence the
necessity of being born again. But Numbers Rest in mere forms,
as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice;
but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God or
not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid
plainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did.
Those that are bound for Heaven, must be willing to swim against
the stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do.
And No one can behave himself as he ought in any station, who
does not deeply consider his religious duties in family
relations. The Israelites agree with Joshua, being influenced By
the Example of a Man who had been So great a blessing to them;
We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men do, By
their influence, if zealous in religion. Joshua brings them to
express full purpose of Heart to cleave to the Lord. They must
come off from all confidence in their own sufficiency, else
their purposes would be in vain. The service of God being made
their deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it By a solemn
Covenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting manner
Joshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, their
Blood would be upon their own heads. Though the House of God,
the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which we
have uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would Bear
Witness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, that
he will Put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart
from him. God alone can give Grace, yet he blesses our
endeavours to engage men to his service.

29-33 Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning his
bones, that they should not Rest in their Grave till Israel had
Rest in the land of promise. Notice also the Death and Burial of
Joshua, and of Eleazar the chief Priest. The most useful men,
having served their Generation, according to the will of God,
one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus,
having spent and ended his Life On Earth more effectually than
either Joshua or Joseph, Rose from the dead, and saw No
corruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit the
kingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world.
They will say in admiration of the Grace of Jesus, Unto him that
loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own Blood, and hath
made us Kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be
Glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.