Joshua 24:13-15 – “And I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; and behold, you eat of vineyards and olive yards which you did not plant.14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth; and put away out of your heart the strange gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river Euphrates, and in Egypt; and serve the LORD.
15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
This is a fascinating account in the Bible. God had chosen Joshua to lead Israel after the death of Moses. He has brought them safely into the Promised Land and now as he neared the time of his death, he challenged them to make a commitment to God. He placed before them the choice they must make, serve God wholly or turn to other gods.
He reminded the people of all that God had done for them. He reminded them of how God had delivered them from Egyptian bondage and lead them to the land flowing with milk and honey. He called to their minds how God had worked His miracle at the Red Sea and allowed them to cross on dry land. He reminded them of how God had given them the miraculous victory over Jericho and driven out their enemies from before them. He reminded them of how God had given them cities they did not build and vineyards that they had not planted. He reminded them of miracle after miracle in God’s fulfillment of His Covenant Promise.
The problem that Israel faced, and history reveals that generation after generation faces is that attempting to rely on the past or someone else’s experience will result in failure. It must be a personal relationship with God that leads us through to victory. Sadly, the generation that followed Joshua and the Elders that outlived Joshua had not seen the hand of God as their forefathers and they drifted from Him.
Joshua called the entire nation together and reminded them of God’s faithfulness and the fulfillment of His Promises. Then, he charged and challenged them to “Put Away” the strange god who is not God and serve the Living God. God has never been willing to share His children with the devil. Joshua reminds them of God’s incredible longsuffering and grace to inspire them to cut a covenant with God and serve Him fully.
The Challenge was to make a choice here and now, to either serve God or turn away from Him. To serve is to be fully committed and obedient to God’s directives. It is to allow God to have full sovereignty in our lives, choices, and decisions. It is to seek Him first and make His will our will.
Service is not a one-time trip to the altar in repentance it is a lifelong commitment. It is a daily decision to submit ourselves to God and seek His guidance and will in everything. It is to develop a relationship with Him and commune and communicate with Him.
Joshua was not asking them to come down and profess their belief in God. He was challenging them to commit themselves fully to God and then demonstrate that commitment in their daily lives through obedience, purity, and living godly. He was asking them to consider Who God Is and What God had done and then fully commit their lives and the rest of their days to the Living God.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 – “It is not everyone who merely says to me, My Lord, my Lord, will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” He is always seeking a total commitment to Him! The commitment to God is like being pregnant you cannot be a little pregnant. Every person has to decide for themselves Who they will serve.
No other person on earth can make the choice for us, we must make the choice to surrender to God fully, or by not making the choice we make the choice to turn from Him. It is either Gold or Garbage and there is no in-between.
I want to address this more but will pause for now and say, May God Bless You as You Go Through This Beautiful Day in Jesus!