“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15
Suggested Reading: Joshua 23-24
In the book of Joshua, chapter 23, Joshua has assembled all the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel. At this time, Israel has conquered the land of Caanan and has experienced a long period of peace from war. Joshua, who is at the end of his life, wants to say farewell to his people and impart a final bit of wisdom to his people. In verses 3-5, he reminds the people of how incredibly faithful God has been to them to bring them to the season of peace and plenty they are were enjoying. Joshua goes on to encourage them to love God, remain faithful to Him, follow His commands and keep the Covenant they have made with Him.
In Joshua 24: 15, Joshua challenges the people to ‘choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve’. The people of Israel lived in a world surrounded by people who served other gods. There were constant temptations for the Israelites to forsake God’s law and fall in to the disgusting religious practices of the Canaanites. Joshua exemplified faithful service to God all the days of his life. He chose to serve Him even when the other spies told the people that Canaan was unconquerable (Numbers 13). He chose to serve Him when the walls of Jericho looked impenetrable (Joshua 6). Joshua saw the past faithfulness of God and hung his hopes for the future on Him.
Like Joshua, we need to make a choice who we will serve. We are faced with all sorts of religions, human philosophies, material possessions and entertainment that are vying for our allegiance. Choosing to serve the Lord is more than simply choosing God over the ‘world’. It is also choosing to trust God. Joshua hung onto God’s faithfulness when he faced trials. We can all take a look at our lives and see the amazing ways God has been faithful in guiding our steps and blessing us. Perhaps you are going through and tough time in your life right now. Take a stand today to choose to serve God with your whole being and hang your hopes on His faithfulness.