16. DEATH IS INEVITABLE, SO PREPARE FOR IT.
Joshua 23:14 - "Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed."
To go "the way of all the earth" is to die. Even Joshua, as faithful as he was, died. And before he did, he tried to prepare the nation for his departure by reminding them of God's fidelity to them and then exhorting them to reciprocate. Today it is still true that all mortals die (except for those who still remain when Christ returns). It is certain our lives on Earth will one day end, but it is uncertain as to when. Therefore, we must watch and pray and live faithfully until death (cf. Matt. 26:41; I Thess. 5:6; Rev. 2:10).
17. GOD CAN USE NATURE TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL.
Joshua 24:12 - "I sent the hornet before you which drove them out from before you, also the two kings of the Amorites, but not with your sword or with your bow."
The Israelites did not take the land of Canaan on their own; they had help from God--a lot of help. One of the helps God provided them was nature, specifically hornets. It's hard to imagine how many hornets God must have sent to actually cause the Canaanites to relocate, but He had the power to do so and certainly still has that power today to accomplish His will. God is all-powerful and sovereign!
18. GOD WILL NOT FORCE US TO CHOOSE HIM OR LOVE HIM.
Joshua 24:15 - "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, chose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of 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."
Joshua had made up his mind a long time ago regarding whom he would serve, but each one must make this decision for himself (and live with the consequences). Jehovah will not force anyone to love Him; He has given us free will in this realm. He has created us, sustained us, and every blessing we enjoy has come from Him. These reasons (and more) are sufficient for me; I will serve the LORD. I plead with you to do likewise.
19. GOD CAN AND WILL USE US UNTIL WE DIE.
Joshua 24:29 - "Now it came to pass after these things that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being one hundred and ten years old."
Moses was still full of usefulness at 120 (cf. Deut. 34:7), and Joshua served God until his death at 110. Although human life expectancy is not what it once was, the point is that we should never retire from serving God. One might not be able to do at 80 what he could do at 30 for the Lord, but he should still be willing to do what he can (cf. Matt. 25:14ff). God has put each member in His body as He sees fit (cf. I Cor. 12:12ff), and He has a use for all (if we are open to it).
20. OUR INFLUENCE LIVES ON AFTER DEATH.
Joshua 24:31 - "Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the LORD which He had done for Israel."
Joshua was a wonderful leader and his influence was immense. What kind of legacy will we leave after death? What kind of long-term impact for good are we having in the lives of our children and grandchildren? May we strive to live like Abraham & Joshua that we might influence others for good long after we have died (cf. Gen. 18:19).