In these Bible verses, Joshua remains faithful to God and His commandments. He builds the altar at Mount Ebal according to God’s instructions.
Then, he reads the law to the people.
The renewing of the covenant gives another example of how the leaders of the Bible did not go after power and glory.
They continued to praise God, and deliver His Word to the people.
Joshua Renews the Covenant at Mount Ebal
Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings.
He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel.
All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, the stranger as well as the native.
Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had given command at first to bless the people of Israel.
Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. – Joshua 8:30-34 NASB
The Ten Commandments?
This is a very short lesson, because the Bible verses speak for themselves.
First, Joshua built an alter to God on Mount Ebal. And then, he read the laws of Moses to all the people.
Question: Why Uncut Stones for the Altar?
With a little research, we find a specific reason the alter had to be made from uncut stone.
This fact seems trivial to us. But, God did not want the people to worship the altar, or the talents of the sculptors. No, the alter was to honor Him.
“If you make an altar of stone for Me, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you wield your tool on it, you will profane it.” Exodus 20:25 NASB
Renewing The Covenant
The laws Joshua read were most likely the Ten Commandments – as this was the basis of Jewish law.
Although many people in America would like to deny it, these ten commandments are the heart of our legal system today.
Christians are Forgiven – Do We Still Need the Commandments?
Yes, when we accept Christ as our Savior,
He forgives our sins.
But, that does not give us a free rein to do anything we please.
The Ten Commandments of God still apply to us.
So, we should do our best to live up to them.
Love in Christ
If you would like to learn more about how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 now.