Truth is the glue
Joshua 24: 1-3
1 Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summonedthe elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.
2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. 3 But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants.'"
Joshua had walked alongside Moses in the desert for many years, learning from him, observing the reactions and behaviours of the Israelites to all the many challenges they had to face in the wilderness. He was there when Moses addressed the people before his death, reminding them of exactly the same truths about God’s love and providence. Then Joshua steps into Moses’ shoes and assumes the leadership role. He knew only too well the discontent amongst the people and their rebellious nature. And so, before his death, he sets out here for them again the glorious truth of their shared ancestry and points to the One who made it all happen in the past– God Himself – the same One who promises to be their God forever.
One of the marks of a great leader is that they are always prepared to stand up and declare the truth no matter what criticism they may attract or what danger it may place them in. Truth can often be the first victim when evil is at work in society; those who declare that truth is actually myth or a misinterpretation of the facts, take the first steps towards social breakdown. When no one knows what the truth is, we are lost in a sea of mere opinion.
Someone once said that Christianity is only ever one generation away from extinction. It is therefore the responsibility of all of us who call ourselves disciples of Jesus to ensure that the enduring truths of the Gospel are communicated to the next generation. But more than that, we must also seek every opportunity to boldly declare to those coming after us the many ways in which He has worked in our lives and how we came to faith. The role of personal witness in building up the faith of others cannot be overstated. In the same way that a baton is handed over to the next runner in a relay race, we too must hand over the truth to those who come after us. Then we find peace as our reward.
Holy Father, I declare now that I will hold to Your eternal truths in my life; in Your grace, may Your Holy Spirit give me Your words to speak to the nations so that Your Name will be glorified and others may be brought to faith in Jesus their Saviour. Amen.