Judges 2:21 (KJV)
I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
The Bible nowhere condemns or speaks negatively of Joshua personally. Joshua is one of the finest examples of leadership, spirituality, and faith we have in the Bible. But he was not a perfect man. Toward the end of his life I see two things that I believe were faults that may have led to Israel’s failure as it is recorded in the book of Judges. Joshua left:
Nations which vexed the people
I understand he could not have guaranteed complete victory in his lifetime but there is an indication, I think, that the push to drive out the Canaanites died long before Joshua did.
Israel without a new leader
When Moses realized that his days were few, he sought God for a new leader for the nation. Joshua did not do that. I do not see where he was ever commanded to do that, but I do not see where Moses was either. Moses was merely concerned enough for Israel to seek it for them. Joshua on the other hand, could have thought within himself that Israel now had their Promised Land, the tribes each had their own lot there, perhaps each tribe should develop their own leadership.
Right or wrong, I do not think there is any doubt that this lack of leadership in part led to Israel’s very rapid failure.
However, Joshua had not left them in moral and spiritual poverty. He had delivered to them,
A charge to serve the Lord
Joshua 24:14-15 (KJV)
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: 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; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Israel, in the end, was without excuse. They had the example of Joshua. They had the Word of God and His worship. It was their choice and no one else’s to fall away.
As it is always for us to choose for ourselves whether to serve the Lord or to fall away.
Judges 2:21 (KJV) Don’t Blame Joshua
Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program is free to you. E-mail me for a free one month VIP upgrade.