This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Joshua 24, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
One day, Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to a special place called Shechem. He called together the leaders of the people, including the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. They presented themselves before God, and Joshua spoke to all the people.
He said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out.'”
Then Joshua reminded the Israelites of all the amazing things God had done for them, like leading them out of slavery in Egypt and providing for them in the wilderness. He reminded them how God had helped them win battles and given them a new home in a land filled with good things to eat and drink. Joshua urged the Israelites to fear the Lord and serve Him with all their hearts and souls, and to put away the gods that their fathers had served beyond the River and in Egypt.
He said, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
The people replied that they would never leave the God who had taken care of them for so long. Joshua warned them that God is holy and would not forgive them if they turned away from Him, but the people said they would always follow God. So, Joshua made a special agreement with the people and wrote down all the rules for them to follow. They even set up a big rock as a reminder of their promise to always follow God.
Joshua lived to be 110 years old. They buried him in a special place in a town called Timnath-serah, which was in a hill country called Ephraim. The people of Israel kept on serving the Lord even after Joshua died, and even the elders who remembered everything that God had done for them kept on following Him.
- God has done great things for us in the past and continues to do so in the present, and it’s important to remember and be grateful for His blessings.
- We must choose whom we will serve and make a conscious decision to follow God, putting away anything that might hinder us from serving Him faithfully.
- Following God means keeping our promises and obeying His commands, even when it’s difficult or unpopular.
- We must always be on guard against the temptation to turn away from God and serve other gods or idols, which can lead to harm and destruction.
- Leaders like Joshua can inspire us to be faithful to God and to pass on our faith to future generations, even after they are gone.