The book of Joshua draws to a close with the words:
Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the Lord had done for Israel. (Joshua 24:31)
And there is a hint that after Joshua, and after these elders who had experienced so much of God’s goodness, the people may turn away from God and choose another way, follow other gods.
And to see how the story develops we’re going to go on and work through the book of Judges – where we will see that, unfortunately, the people got into a cycle of turning away from God, of God punishing them, the people calling on God, God sending someone to rescue them.
A difficult time in the life of the people of Israel and one which ends with some sad words:
In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. (Judges 21:25)
How had a moment of such promise turned into such a fragmented society with no real purpose and direction? We’ll find out as we trace the story over the next few weeks.
But in the darkness we will also see rays of light as a few people commit to serving and praising God