Joshua’s Retirement Speech

Getting old has its disadvantages. I am reminded of a getting old list I heard recently. You know that you are getting old when:Everything that works hurts, and what doesn’t hurt doesn’t work.Your address book contains more names ending in M.D. than all the others combined.You lo … More


In this passage we find Joshua’s retirement speech. His long life started in Egyptian bondage and ended in a worship service in the Promised Land. He had been used to lead Israel in defeating the enemy, conquering the land, and claiming the promised inheritance. He is now approaching 110 years old and he gathers all the leaders of Israel to give them some final words of encouragement and instruction. His great and final speech extends over three chapters, but in this passage there are three main points that Joshua tries to drive home:

  1. He reminds them of how God has blessed them in the past (vv. 1-3). He reminds the Israelites that it has been God who fought their battles and gave them the victory over their enemies. Likewise, as Christians, God has fought our battles and given us the victory.
  2. He reminds the Israelites of the future blessings that had been promised to them by the Lord. (v. 5) The Lord promised Israel that He would deliver them from their enemies. The Lord has also promised to deliver us, as Christians, from our enemies (James 4:7).
  3. He stops talking about what God has done and starts talking about what we must do. (v. 6) At the very beginning of this book he had told the Israelites, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night.” Joshua then commands his people to avoid idolatry (vv. 7-8)). We also need to meditate on His Word day and night.


What do I want to be remembered for and what do I want to pass on to my children. I can leave them nothing better than the admonition to hold on to God and to the memory of a person who did.

Joshua 23:1-8 (English Standard Version)

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