God gave the promise to Abraham that his descendants would be given the land of Canaan in Shechem, northwest of Shiloh (Genesis 12:6-7). How appropriate that this is the location of Joshua's final charge. Also, Jacob buried family idols there (Genesis 35:4), and Joshua built an altar and inscribed the Law of God on stone pillars there on the way into Canaan (Joshua 8:30-35).
Joshua 24 contains a standard suzerainty (overlordship) treaty common during this time between Hittite kings and their vassal states. God was renewing a suzerainty treaty with His vassal people, Israel. This is the pattern contained in this chapter:
- Preamble (24:1-2a)
- Historical prologue (24:2b-13) - contains a review of Israel's history and their blessings from God (note the "I" statements from God)
- Stipulations and consequences of disobedience (24:14-24)
- Writing of the agreement (24:25-28)
It was a renewal of the Mosaic Covenant. Remember that this covenant was not an everlasting one like the one with Abraham, and it needed to be renewed in every generation.
The book of Joshua closes with the burial of Joshua, servant of the LORD, Joseph's bones (Genesis 50:25; Exodus 13:19), and Eleazar, the high priest.
At the end of your life, would your gravestone say "Servant of the LORD"?
Lord, make us Your servant. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.