Joshua completes his final task before dying. He reaffirms the Israelites’ commitment to God in a ceremony attended by all twelve tribes. As Joshua addresses the people, he recounts their entire history, from the era of the patriarchs until that very day. The people must now choose between embracing Moses’ law and abandoning it. Joshua urges them to continue worshiping God and be open to receiving His blessings. If they do not, the nation will forever be lost. The Israelites insist on celebrating the renewal of the covenant in Shechem. Joshua dies and is buried in the land of his inheritance. The Israelites continue to worship the one God. The Israelites’ divine covenant with God symbolizes the reverence required of them and all people—a reverence that stems from love and deep connection, not fear of punishment or any other motive.
“And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat” (Joshua 24:13)
“and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14-15)
“So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem” (Joshua 24:25)
Awe is the experience of perceiving the presence of the Creator; also known as “fear of God”, or reverence.