- What are some specific ways that God has shown you his faithfulness?
TAKING IN: Understanding?
- This is a story of covenant renewal, and its structure follows a standard format, similar to other places in the Old Testament. Moreover, this format was also used when a stronger nation would enter into a pact with a weaker one. Read through the story keeping the following structure in mind.
- Prologue (1)
- Commitment of the King (2-13)
- Commitment of the subjects (14-21)
- Appeal to witnesses (22-24)
- Ratification of the covenant and further witnesses (25-27)
- Conclusion (28)
- What are the repeated words and ideas?
- List the historical events that are recounted in God’s commitment to Israel? How long is this time period of his faithfulness? What specific things had he done for Israel?
- What are the aspects of God’s person and character revealed through these historical acts?
- Why is history an important part of this covenant relationship? What similar point does Paul make in 1 Corinthians 15?
- What are the primary responsibilities of Israel in their part of the covenant commitment?
- What do you think Joshua meant when he said, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God”? Do you think he was addressing the current state of the Israelites or speaking prophetically about future generations?
- What/who are the witnesses to the covenant? How is it ratified?
- What does it mean to “deal falsely” with God?
LIVING OUT: Applying
- What does God’s covenant mean to you?
- The word “incline” (verse 23) means “to bend in the direction of.” How do you apply this in your own relationship with God?
- Joshua said that he and his house would serve the LORD? To what extent can a father make a commitment for his children?
- How do you personally respond to the words, “you are not able to serve the Lord?” (You might want to think about Paul’s experience in Romans 7:14-25.)
- How do we apply the phrase “put away the foreign gods from among you”?
- How does Jesus fulfill this story?