At the end of the third film in the ‘Back to the Future’ franchise, two of the main characters – Marty and Jennifer – seem confused about their future together. Doc has to remind them that the future is not set in stone. He reminds them that the future hasn’t been written yet; that they get to make their future whatever they want it to be. We see something similar in today’s text.
Over the course of the last 10 chapters we have seen Joshua divide the land among the tribes. His job is more or less done at we start chpt. 23. Yet there are remaining Canaanites to drive out. Remember that God said he would not drive them out all at once. He would do it over many years (Ex. 29:28-30). As Joshua nears the end of his life, he knows all of this. He also knows that temptation awaits his people. This chapter is essentially Joshua’s warning for the future. We’ll see that the warning is prophetic. Yet the thing to remember is that Israel has a free will. She can make her future what she wants it to be.