So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “ We are witnesses!” “Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!” So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord . And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” So Joshua let the people depart, each to his own inheritance. Now it came to pass after these things that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord , died, being one hundred and ten years old. And they buried him within the border of his inheritance at Timnath Serah, which is in the mountains of Ephraim, on the north side of Mount Gaash. Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the Lord which He had done for Israel. The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had brought up out of Egypt, they buried at Shechem, in the plot of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred pieces of silver, and which had become an inheritance of the children of Joseph. Joshua 24:22-32 NKJV
And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan, in the hills and in the lowland and in all the coasts of the Great Sea toward Lebanon— the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite—heard about it, that they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one accord. But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” Then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?” But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” And Joshua said to them, “Who are you, and where do you come from?” So they said to him: “From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the Lord your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt, and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan—to Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth. Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, “We are your servants; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” ’ This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and moldy. And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey.” Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord . So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them. And it happened at the end of three days, after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors who dwelt near them. Then the children of Israel journeyed and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath Jearim. But the children of Israel did not attack them, because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation complained against the rulers. Then all the rulers said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel; now therefore, we may not touch them. This we will do to them: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them.” And the rulers said to them, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers for all the congregation, as the rulers had promised them.” Then Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you dwell near us? Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of you shall be freed from being slaves—woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.” So they answered Joshua and said, “Because your servants were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; therefore we were very much afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing. And now, here we are, in your hands; do with us as it seems good and right to do to us.” So he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, so that they did not kill them. And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord , in the place which He would choose, even to this day. Joshua 9:1-27 NKJV
And the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods. “Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel. When I have brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My covenant. Deuteronomy 31:16-20 NKJV
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” Matthew 26:26-29 NKJV
Our lives are our own. They are like our property. God has given us life, our thoughts, our emotions, etc. We choose how to live each and every day. At the end of our life, we leave some kind of legacy. The decisions we made have been committed or dedicated. To whom? Certainly to the people around us – family, friends, etc. They are impacted by our choices made during life. However, our Creator is the ultimate being that our actions are committed to and judged by. Our lives are an offering before Him.
In Hebrews 9, we see words such as testament and testator. When we leave this life behind, we have the opportunity to express how we would like our earthly possessions dispersed in a will, or a testament. The testator is the person who owns the will and must die in order for the will to be carried out.
That is our earthly possessions. What about our choices made during life? Our sins, or transgressions against God’s divine laws, are recorded. Our life, our legacy, is offered up before the Lord. I have sinned and will sin again, most likely in ignorance, but it is still sin. How can I live with a clean conscience knowing that?
Hebrews 9 also says the following:
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22 NKJV
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people… Hebrews 9:19 NKJV
Under the first covenant, dedication was made with blood. “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission.” Christ, the eternal being, cleansed us with His perfect blood. It is by His death that we can receive eternal inheritance upon our death. This is the new covenant. We can serve God with a clean conscience by accepting His covering and cleansing blood.
It was God’s will that we receive eternal inheritance. His will was set forth legally by the death of His son. I hope to live a life honorable to God with a conscience cleansed by His purifying blood.
And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Hebrews 9:15-17 NKJV
The Lord found fault with the first covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. They did not continue His covenant and the Lord “disregarded them.” However, the Lord established a new covenant – a better covenant. This new agreement offers an eternal inheritance.
A high priest was appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices to the Lord. The tabernacle was prepared with a sanctuary and the Holy of Holies. These things were to be a reflection, a pattern, of the things in heaven. The Lord had established laws, or divine ordinances, that needed to be kept. The first covenant required the blood of goats and calves to sanctify the flesh. It was symbolic, a reflection, of what was to come. Food, drink, washings and fleshly ordinances were imposed to remind mankind of cleanliness in the presence of the Lord.
Now, we have a High Priest. Christ was an offering, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with the eternal blood of the Son of God. The new tabernacle is not built with hands of the earthly creation. I love Hebrews 9 13-14:
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:13-14 NKJV
Jesus entered the Holy of Holies once for all – an eternal redemption. The new covenant is not written in stone on this Earth. The Lord said, ” I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people… For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
What a beautiful covenant and an even more amazing God! Praise Him for putting away sin with His own heavenly blood.
Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience— concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:6-10 NKJV
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. Hebrews 9:11-12 NKJV