Over and over again, Joshua uses his last days on the earth to remind the Israelites of their covenant with God,

recapping their legacy all the way back to Abraham.

“Choose today who you will worship,” Joshua declares.

And over and over again, the Israelites reply,

“We will worship the Lord.”

So Joshua takes a large stone and places it under an oak at the sanctuary of the Lord.

You see this stone – it will be a witness against us,

for it has heard all the words the Lord has said to us,

and it will be a witness against you,

so that you will not deny your God.

 Joshua 24:27

Joshua then slips out of the Israelite story at the age of 110.

His time as leader has come to a peaceful end.

Generations later, Jesus will ride into Jerusalem on a donkey and Scripture says,

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

Luke 19:37-40

Joshua and Jesus – two names with one root and meaning.

Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation

One is translated from Hebrew into English,

the other from Greek.

And they both knew something we should never forget.

Even if the whole world stops proclaiming Jesus as Lord,

the stones will cry out.

Job says,
But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 
Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 
In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
All of nature knows:
There is One God and Creator.
Psalm 19:1,
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
So why does it just take one chapter after Joshua’s death for the Israelites to stumble?
Immediately they turn to God in need of a leader but very quickly begin to bend God’s rules,
allowing Canaanites to live among them instead of pushing them completely out.
Birds of a feather flock together,
and the Israelites slowly become comfortable sharing their nest with non “God-fearing birds.”
What are we comfortable with today?
And how long will it take for the rocks to cry out?
Joshua knew the Israelites would have a decision to make time and time again,
“Who would they worship?”
And Jesus knew we would too.
Choose you this day who you will serve.
The stones know the right answer.
Shouldn’t we?
(Today’s reading was from Joshua 19 – 24 and Judges 1.)