Joshua’s Farewell Address

Open Your Bible

Joshua 23:1-16, Matthew 22:37-40, Philippians 1:6

We’ve all seen it before in books or plays. Long lost relatives turn up out of nowhere. A bright blue sky conveniently starts pouring rain onto a parched, dry land. Eagles swoop in unexpectedly and save the day. These are examples of deus ex machina, a phrase referring to a story’s unexpected, sometimes unbelievable, turn of events. It’s a plot device that abruptly offers a way out of catastrophe as events unfold outside the existing logic of a story.

At first glance, the book of Joshua is one long string of seemingly unbelievable twists and turns. The sun stands still, the walls of Jericho fall, and the Israelites cross the Jordan River after it miraculously dries up. Too good to be true, right? Except these divine victories unfold perfectly within the book’s framework because this is the story of our faithful God fighting on behalf of His people—just like He promised (Joshua 23:3, 10). It’s too good not to be true. 

Can you imagine the relief Joshua must have felt near the end of his life? Scripture tells us that by the time Israel found rest from their enemies, Joshua was “advanced in age” (Joshua 23:1). He had the satisfaction of seeing each of God’s promises to him fulfilled with his own eyes. While giving a final address to the Israelites, Joshua stood as a witness to God’s character and said: “You know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the LORD your God made to you has failed” (v.14). 

Do we also know this with all our heart and soul? As we watch the Lord fight on behalf of His appointed leader, we see God’s primary promise was that He would never abandon Joshua. He was promising His presence. For those of us who are in Christ, we are promised the gift of God’s presence in the Holy Spirit, who is always with us (John 14:16). This is a promise we can count on for the rest of our lives.

I think one of the most encouraging things we can do in our journey with the Lord is read stories of God’s faithfulness in the lives of others. His divine victory is no fallible plot twist. We can expect it, believe it, and even petition for it with fervor because God is for us (Romans 8:31). He does what He says He will do. Historical narratives like the book of Joshua renew our trust in God and the promise of His presence as we trace His hand at work through the lives of His people. 

We can remember and rejoice that our God always keeps His promises. “I am sure of this,” we can say along with our brothers and sisters, “that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). 

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52 thoughts on "Joshua’s Farewell Address"

  1. Brandy Deruso says:

    The lord will take care of you always thank you lord!

  2. Paula Strong says:

    The verse in Matthew really spoke to me. Love your neighbor as yourself. So much hate in this world and the greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. No matter the color, race, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation, or political part. We are to love our neighbors. Does this mean we agree with everything? No! We are to love each other.

  3. Bianca HarrisPerine says:

    Favorite chapter of Joshua. He declares all that the Lord has done for Israel, cautions them about disobedience and how we as followers must be set apart from the world.

  4. Kristen says:

    @ Tina When you wrote: The Lord God shows up, you are going to be shaken to the core in a BIG way!
    You are going to be changed. Your perspective on life is going to change. The way you see people, motives and who they are, is going to change. EVERYTHING you have known, is going to change, because God showed up!
    And He didn’t just show up, He stayed.May tbis Gallo to al and thinking of the lost, unsaved, and those people in leadership, government. famous. or roles of influence. May laws change, thinking change, priorities change. May all hate what God hates and love what God loves. May they care more about pleasing God than man. May the Bible be the Standard for governing and living. Let conviction and repentance come, so all can be His people and may He come and heal the land.
    @ Michelle, I hope you were able to read all these messages for you. I understand about eating disorders. Praying for your complete deliverance, every stronghold to be broken, and for you to know Truth and be set free. Don’t believe the lies that God can’t use you. Look at all the people in the Bible that God used to minister. Paul called himself a chief sinner. There is a book called,Grace Food and Everything in Between by Aubrey Golbek. This book is about discovering the transforming power of grace to set people free from food and body shame. She and another Christian author have offered courses too. I also have the Look that kills by Michelle Meyer. This disorder has brought serious, terrible consequences in my life. I have heard that this is the most deadly of all mental illnesses. Please read what the others have written for you and believe in His strength and power. The one woman wrote about how she was going to purge and she saw Jesus in front of the toilet with His arms open! What a beautiful Savior! I Bihar said He stands in the gap. He is interceding for us day and night! Amazing and humbling! Hallelujah! May we praise Him and love Him more and more each day! Here is something I read called How to Fall in Lovr with Jesus. It’s so worth reading: i
    May Healing come! In Jesus Name Amen. ( I just saw part of this Scripture and a quick devotional about it! I’ll share the link and the Scripture too. So good!

    Jude 24-25 (ESV) “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

  5. Bonnie Cochran says:

    Praying for you Michelle P, I have also struggled with this since I was a teenager. I’m now a first time mom with a 4 month old and still struggling with body image. You are not alone ❤️

  6. Kylie K says:

    Hi Michelle. I struggled with an eating disorder for years. It wasn’t until I walked into the bathroom one day (to purge) and literally saw the open arms of Jesus standing in front of the toilet. He literally stands in the gap for us. May He meet you in this place and cover your shame with His open arms of grace.

  7. Diana Sandoval says:

    This remind of the song “history” by maverick city.

    You and I we got history…
    we go way way back, we go way way back.

  8. Lori Barnhouse says:

    I couldn’t get day 26 to download

  9. Melody Bates says:

    I struggle with feeling unloved sometimes which led me to eat my feelings. It doesn’t matter what the struggle is, if we don’t realize God is there fighting for us, then we will never have true peace. Philippians 1:6 has become my life verse because I know that even when I give up on myself that God hasn’t given up on me and is still working to complete that good work in me.

  10. Adrienne * says:

    This was supposed to be a reply to Michelle. I hit reply under the message, but it posted here.

  11. Adrienne * says:

    You got it, sister!

  12. Mercy says:

    What great joy and blessing to me reading all your wise insights and comments this morning. It’s like fireworks. THANK YOU!

    @ Heidi, love your profound input today. Thank you for reminding us that “the seemingly unimportant or repetitive tasks are not that at all- they are enduring, Kingdom building, glory-filled privileges that have literally eternal power”. Small things matter to God. And those who are faithful in little, will be faithful in much.

    @ Nancy, praying for your family and daughter in law. May God grant your family healing, wholeness, and protection as He promises in Psalm 91.

    @Michelle P, praying for you to overcome this battle in the mind. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the honorable image of God. And you are God’s work, and His works are wonderful (Psalm 139:14). You are the carrier of God’s image. Please do not let the image of this world define you. Don’t be conformed to the what “beauty” is by the world, they worship the WRONG idols. I was struggling with body image in my younger years but I tossed that to the side soon after I found the one who loves me (Jesus), nothing else sticks. You are created for an eternal purpose, for His glory. God fights for you, but you do need to clear out these “Canaanite remnants” and claim your territory in this “promised land”. God wants you well. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Speak to these evil deceiving thoughts and command them to be completely removed from your mind and forbid them to ever come back. Cheering for your victory. God loves you!

  13. Meghan Fox says:

    This whole series has been about God’s promises and it just so happens my church started learning “Promises” by Maverick City Music a few weeks ago. It’s an amazing song and I highly recommend listening to it! Here are just a few of the lyrics:

    God of Abraham
    You’re the God of covenant and faithful promises
    Time and time again
    You have proven
    You’ll do just what You said

    Though the storms may come
    And the winds may blow, I’ll remain steadfast
    And let my heart learn when You speak a word
    It will come to pass

  14. Heidi says:

    Girl I hope you have time to come back to this space and read all the Sisters praying for you!! You’re so loved…
    This book of Joshua is applicable in a thousand ways. One thing that hit me while listening to the she reads truth podcast about the series this morning, The New Testament tells us that we all have an inheritance. For the Israelites, they had an inheritance that was given to them, but they had to do the work of treading the ground and laying hold of it. They had to claim it, write their name on it to have it signed over to them in their possession. One, of many things, that Christ has said is our inheritance is that of a sound mind. He has not given us a spirit of fear but of Love, power, and a sound mind. I, your Sister in our Savior, struggled with eating disorders from before I was six years old. It was easily hidden at times and it was much more overt other times, but this pattern stayed stuck to me until I was in my early 30s. Through his grace and provision I can boldly and proudly say it does not any longer have a hold on me whatsoever. I fully agree with the advice of having a therapist who specializes with eating disorders, and even more having a therapist who can discuss and advise from the perspective of the God who created you. And just keep doing the work. That is a tough line to type out because it seems demanding and pushy, but he’s giving you the strength, he’s giving you the wise counsel, he’s giving you the recognition that there’s an area of stronghold in your life. Keep doing the work, keep treading on your land that has been given to you- he has promised you a sound mind. He has promised you a life lived in abundance. He has great purpose and love and desire for you. These things have been given to you so just keep turning to Him for comfort and support because it’s FOR THE SICK (FYI- that’s all of us in our own “sickness”) that He has come!!! You are in a blessed place if only for the reason that you daily- sometimes hourly- RECOGNIZE your NEED for Him… thank Him for it. And thank Him for the healing that He WILL BRING. He is so faithful to you. He will never leave you. Continue to be strong and courageous, drawing on His breath for your strength. He is with you and He has you. Never let your enemy forget that for a moment. ❤️❤️❤️
    (One study that was so monumental to me was Breaking Free (revises edition), there is a study book and weekly video discussion you can download. I can’t recommend them enough —and if you do it, DO THE VIDEO SESSIONS TOO!!! They’re priceless in content!!!— If you have a person in your life that would do the study with you, all the better… support is key. Praying for you…!!!)

  15. Elizabeth Martin says:

    Michelle P
    Praying for you. I’m recovering and I understand the battle. I try to think of it as an inside joke between me and God – a “gift” to keep me close to Him.
    No setbacks only set ups for God to move. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  16. Lissa says:

    To MICHELLE P. I am praying for you. However, you must seek professional help specifically for EATING DISORDER. This illness CAN NOT be won with self-control. You are in my prayers.

  17. Maura says:

    “Because it was the Lord your God who was fighting for you” Joshua 23:3b This grabbed my heart this morning. How many times Jesus has been in battle for me, beside me, with me, against the lies the world was telling me or the thoughts/sin I might have opened the door to. So thankful He is the promise keeper, faithful and true. And that whatever this life holds for the joy in knowing He is the Lord of Armies. The victory is His. Praying for you Sisters. Jill Davis for your 3 daughters, trusting with you that He will give them eyes to see and ears to hear His love as you pour it out on them. Kay Elder praying for both you and me that He makes our vision one that encompasses the Kingdom view, for His glory. Nancy Ludricks praying for your son’s family, Lord God, please heal this precious family. That this time of welcoming in a new baby will continue to be a time of miracles and joy. I pray especially for Nancy’s daughter-in-law’s blood pressure Jesus, lower it and give her hydration of your living water Jesus. And for the 2 year old quick healing. In your name Jesus, I pray. Dear Michelle, you have been in a battle for a long while now. I am praying you know that the Lord has been and will be fighting for you. You are His beloved daughter, His creation. I pray He fills you with His vision of you, perfect in all the imperfect ways He has shaped you for His purpose. That you see how His strength is revealed in your weakness. That you feel the Everlasting Arms wrapping you up in His protection and that you find His freedom from the war you have been in. I will be praying for you. His is the victory and you are so loved. Chrysta, Praying His peace over you. Heidi, thank you for your post. Angie, your words uplifted my heart yesterday, so blessed always by your thoughts. Our God be praised. I must be off to work. Lovely knowing you all read the encouraging devotions and scriptures with me all over the world and across the pond ❤️this morning may we sing, whisper and shout Glory to our Lord God for He is WORTHY. Love to you all. Wish we could have a cup of tea together, but know that sharing in His word is so much better.

  18. Linda Gilbow says:

    All praise to our promise keeping Lord

  19. Jennifer Ficklen says:

    Promise keeper that is what He is. He is faithful to us and one day who’ll physically walk with us again. Like he did with Adam and Eve.

  20. CeeGee says:

    “At the heart of Joshua’s appeal is this: “I am going the way of the whole earth, and you know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the LORD your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you; not one promise has failed” (Joshua 23:14).

    Now, think about these words in light of your own journey of faith. What good things has the Lord provided you? I bet the list is long. What promises has He fulfilled? Consider the assurance of salvation in Jesus. What master has seen you through despair or presented you as pure and blameless in the sight of the Lord? Surely, only Jesus has been faithful, while the idols of your heart have let you down time and time again. Think on the good and wonderful things He’s done for you. Praise Him for His unswerving dedication to your eternal soul. Submit to His authority and guidance. Always remember; never forget.”. Written by Alex Florez

  21. Mari V says:

    He who began a good work in you…(began a good work in you). He who began a good work in you.
    Will be faithful to complete it. Will be faithful to complete it. He who who started a work will be faithful to complete it in you. We would sing this in the youth group ministry 20+ years ago. Now I’m back serving in the youth group. I’m loving it. And I see God‘s faithfulness over and over and over. He has not and will never abandon us. That is a promise!

  22. CeeGee says:

    TAYLOR, what a joy it is to see your post! I was thinking of you as I read this morning! What timing our God has!!! Choosing along with you to remember, acknowledge, and give thanks for God’s presence, power, provision, guidance, and love. Hallelujah!

  23. Taylor says:

    Ladies thank you all so much for your prayers and encouraging/comforting words! They were truly a balm to my soul. I feel like today’s devotion was made for me (anyone else?!)
    Our God is FAITHFUL. I have seen it with my own eyes, I have experienced it, I KNOW it is true.
    He FIGHTS for me (for us). I have seen it, I have experienced it, I KNOW it is true.
    He will NEVER leave me or give up on me. I have seen it, I have experienced it, I KNOW it is true.
    He LOVES me. I have seen it, I have experienced it, I KNOW it is true.
    What an amazing end to this study in Joshua, to turn our gaze to the Lord, because it really is all Him.
    Claiming the truth of Philippians 1:6 over my specific life situation today. He HAS started a good work in me, and it’s not going to stop until He says so. Today’s devotion has given me peace. For that, I praise the Lord alone.

  24. ADB says:

    Praying now for you Michelle.

  25. Rhonda J says:

    So,so good Tina!

  26. Crysta says:

    @michelle I’m believing you’ll overcome this space you’re in. I’m in similar shoes myself. Krysta is right, talking about childhood instances affect us as adults. There’s things my dad said that I’m talking to my therapist about now. It’s so real what stays on our souls even after years passed. What’s comforting is God’s grace remains despite our insecurities, fears, and doubts. God remains consistent even if we are in a season of inconsistency. He’s faithful like that. I’m learning that so much right now.

    The fact that you were able to write to us in here is victory. There’s deliverance already. Claim it.

  27. Kate Emmert says:

    So uplifting to remember that He has started a good work in me and will bring it to completion.

  28. Bonnie Smith says:

    Praise God for His amazing faithfulness. He is a promise keeper! May we always be looking up and keeping our eyes on Him and living for His glory. So grateful that He continues to work in me and will never give up on me.
    Praying for you Nancy and you Michelle. Please don’t beat yourself up Michelle, just know how much God loves you right where you are. He is for you, you are his beloved daughter!!
    Tina, I feel like you wrote my testimony. Thank you for your beautiful faith and encouraging words to your sisters!!

  29. Ginny Keteles says:

    I was struck with “it is one man of you that puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God who fights for you as he promised’. This is a very good ratio! And all the while, We think it is just us and them. Earlier, Joshua said that the Lord goes
    Before you to push the enemy. We are just the clean up crew! Love it!

  30. Jill Davis says:

    Thank you Erika! I just purchased that song.
    I know I don’t believe that God does keep his promises with all my heart and soul. I watch the world grab the hearts of my 3 teenage daughters and it scares me. My two oldest seem to be pulling away from God. I need to remind myself daily that they are his and trust them with him now as the get closer to adulthood as I keep praying for them.

  31. Katie B says:

    Amen Heidi! Thank you for sharing those words.

  32. Angela Sutherland says:

    Remember and rejoice! The Lord is faithful!!

  33. Emily Hodson says:

    I love this and it was just what I needed to hear this morning! Thank you for sharing!

  34. AnneLyn P says:

    Praying for you, Michelle P.

  35. Kay Elder says:

    I am retiring in a few short weeks. As I read this AM, I thought about Joshua’s “career “ and my own. Do I reflect on my work and any success I’ve had through a world view or a Kingdom view? As I move into this new stage, new territories, if you will. Will I be faithful and dependent on God to lead me and care for me? Will I obey and trust him with these next steps or will I lean on my own understanding? Help me, Lord, to draw close to you each day, eyes up, looking to you.

  36. Jennifer Wing says:

    @Michelle P — thank you for being courageous enough to share where you are struggling. Praying for you this morning to know to the core of your being Gods immense love and delight over you.

  37. Melinda Gray says:

    Praying for you.

  38. Nancy Ludrick says:

    Praying for you, Michelle!

  39. Nancy Ludrick says:

    Please pray for my son and his family. They were all exposed to Covid. My 2 year old grandson has symptoms, and had the test done yesterday. My daughter in law, who delivered their second child last week is having high blood pressure issues. Thank you for praying!

  40. Erika Hodgens says:

    I can’t help but think of JJ Hellers song “You Keep Your Promises.” When it first came out I played it on repeat over and over and cling to its hope with my broken heart. Some of the lyrics are: “There us hope within the breaking of the heart of every seed- And I know You feel the aching at the end of all good things- I believe in restoration. I believe that You redeem.- Because I know somehow the sycamore will bloom again in doing.”

  41. Jeannie Wilson says:


  42. Michelle P says:

    Good morning SRT community!

    As I read this morning, I struggle to remind myself of God’s love. Can you girls pray for me?

    I’ve struggled with body image issues/self worth/an eating disorder for over 10 years now. I’ve sought help for it, have mostly have put a bandaid on things… but for the past few months, the symptoms are really bad again. I just started telling my counselor about it.

    After “failing” and falling into temptation with bingeing/purging, I struggle to pick myself up and rest in God’s grace. I can be so critical of myself. I feel so stuck in this cycle. And my way of fixing it is extreme self control, which isn’t a true healing solution. Just me trying to manage sin.

    Please pray I would remember God’s love and work in me, as Joshua reminds Israel in this passage. That God would indeed continue a good work in me, and as still count me worthy to be used by Him. I keep trying to convince myself I am still useful to ministry, despite my daily shortcomings with this big sin issue.

    Thanks ladies.
    Love and blessings, In Jesus’s name.

    1. Krysta Orona says:

      Praying for you Michelle, have you and your counselor talked through childhood messages? It has been revolutionary for me and my struggles. The messages we hear and perceive as children are carried with us into adulthood and they affect the ways we relate to others and ourselves.

    2. Shenena Merchant says:

      Praying that you understand that you are enough and God’s grace is sufficient without you having to prove or manage your sin.

  43. Crysta says:


    Yes to that blessed post. I’m pushing to be that fixed on God. The bumps and hurdles along the way has me feeling a bit bruised, but I’m still breathing by God’s grace. And that means he’s not done.

    I don’t remember who mentioned when God repeats messages to us, but Philippians 1:6 has been repeated this morning for me. I’m now compelled to go study it further.

    Even in these emotions that aren’t final, I move towards fixing my eyes above and remembering how faithful God has been, and still is. Even if I can’t see it, he’s up to something amazing, I choose to hold onto that promise as Jeremiah 29:11 says. God isn’t in a rush. Sometimes I am, but God isn’t. God is above time.

    Despite it all I’m grateful that God’s ways are higher than mine as Isaiah 55:10 states.

    Have a wonderful and safe Thursday SRT clan.

  44. Angie says:

    I cannot think of a more beautiful farewell address that to turn the focus to our good God. What a great example.

    Heidi…I love your post and will be copying and pasting it to reread often. Thank you.

    Churchmouse, thank you also. I would concur completely.

    Let us live today, and each day, so that our lives pour honor, glory, and praise on our Savior and Lord.

  45. Heidi says:

    Loving the recognition of something in that verse in Philippians this morning- “…until the day of Christ”. I don’t know why, but for some reason my mind has always just defined it as “until MY days are done”… But no. This is just another example of God’s unending power to use our faithfulness in OUR lifetimes to miraculously stretch forward, propelled and continued by His Spirit, to keep working and moving His Kingdom on this earth even beyond our days here. I am going to let this be a huge encouragement to me today, and I pray to you also- the Spirit-filled work of your hands today (the ones that sign the contracts, change yet another diaper, wash yet another dish, steer the car to carpool, hold the hand of your loved one, grade 50 more papers, etc…) will impact the people around you- AND will be lasting far beyond these moments and days. If we can allow God’s leadership and grace into our plans, and genuinely do the tasks before us to and for His glory alone- these seemingly unimportant or repetitive tasks are not that at all- they are enduring, Kingdom building, glory-filled privileges that have literally eternal power. Whatever we do- in our words or our deeds- dear sisters let’s do it for His glory. ❤️

    1. Candi S. says:


  46. Churchmouse says:

    What I love about Joshua’s farewell address is that he keeps pointing them towards God. He takes no credit for conquering the land or being victorious in battle. Joshua reminds them it’s all from the Lord. The Lord alone deserves their loyalty. And their obedience.

    May the same be said of all of us. May we keep pointing to the Lord. May we give Him all the credit. May the faithfulness He has shown us be reciprocated by our faithfulness to Him.

  47. Elizabeth Gibson says:

    God is at work in my life and the lives of my family, and I know all things work together for Gods glory! Amen!

  48. Jenn says:

    Oh my how I love when God shows me something on Sunday in church and then again in my SRT devotion. Phillipians 1:6 I am SURE of THIS…or other translations, I am CONFIDENT of THIS…God gives us a THIS for every that, them, and they. May we remain confident of our this. God is so good how He will continuously speak to us through devotions, people, sermons, and all of the things. I will say that when some people hear God speaking to them so clearly, I get a little envious as my direction is not always that clear. But, when I see Him speaking to me it is such assurance of what He is trying to tell me. I hear you God. Thank you for repeating the things You want me to see and not letting me miss the message you have for me.

  49. Tina says:

    I have a pastor friend who often says to me.. ” I love the way you have faith and trust God for the right things to happen”

    Let’s face it, when, in your darkest hour, nothing this side of heaven can help, soothe, or even make sense, and the Lord God shows up, you are going to be shaken to the core in a BIG way!
    You are going to be changed. Your perspective on life is going to change. The way you see people, motives and who they are, is going to change. EVERYTHING you have known, is going to change, because God showed up!
    And He didn’t just show up, He stayed.

    He stayed.

    Giving hope, when hope was lost, showing love when earthly love could not sustain, showing grace and mercy, when the world was crumbling around you and you just wanted to scream..

    And in His staying, a relationship is formed that is real, true and hopefilled. His promise to never leave me, ever present. His promises to walk in the valleys alongside, true as the day He made them loooong ago, to those that have gone before us. His promise to provide. Tick. His goodness and mercy ever follows because He promises so..
    God has been faithful. His faithfulness forever my hope in all I do though, I have been known and do go off script sometimes..

    But God..

    Ever faithful. Ever sure. Ever present. Ever the loving God who loves and wants the absolute best for me/us!

    I remember and I rejoice, and I will forever remember and rejoice, because my hope is built on nothing less..I have seen. I have tasted. I have known the faithfulness of God..

    Why would I look to anyone else?

    But God.


    Praying God turn His face to shine on you this windy Thursday. Stay safe and know you are loved from across the pond, but importantly by the one who holds it ALL together. Hugs❤