What is the significance of the covenant warnings given in Joshua 23?
The significance of the covenant warnings given in Joshua 23:1-16 are directly related to us as Christians… I say that this is important to us, because many times we rely on the grace of the Lord in a way that makes us apathetic about obeying the Lord’s commands and requirements… In these warnings, Joshua reminded the people of their commitments to the Lord, the fundamental commitments and their applications. For example, they were not to worship other gods, not to build altars for other gods, not to mix, through marriage, with the gods of the other nations surrounding them. Simply put, they were to obey the law and the commands that the Lord had given them through Moses. The warnings presented by Joshua are covenantal warnings because they follow the general framework of biblical covenants. Covenants in the Bible have three main elements. The first element is divine benevolence where God reminds the people of his kindness, blessings and grace to them. The second element is the required human loyalty. Since the Lord has dealt bountifully with you and his grace overflowed for you, there is a human role, which is the role of loyalty, obedience, and faithfulness under the covenant. The third element is the consequences of the covenant. Obedience has its consequences — the blessings of the covenant. Disobedience and rebellion have their consequences, which are the curses of the covenant.