“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
This verse comes from the end of Joshua's second speech before he died. The
background is that the Israelites had finally entered Canaan, the land God had promised to them, after 40 years of wandering in the
desert. Here Joshua
implores his people to choose to serve the one true God who delivered
them out of the slavery of Egypt, and who looked after them during their 40
years of wandering in the desert. Joshua still gave the people a free choice: the Israelites could, if they wanted, follow the false foreign gods
which their ancestors and other peoples worshipped. However, Joshua taught the people faithfully, demonstrating through God's gracious love for Israel and the mighty acts He had performed for them that He was the only one worthy of obedience.
I guess what I love about this passage is how strong and
determined Joshua was in standing by the God of Israel. Essentially, he tells the people: do whatever you want, but ME and MY family will serve the Lord. I
think this is also something we should choose to do, not just once in
our lifetime or even twice; rather, every day we must choose to serve the
Regardless of whether all Israel decided to follow false gods, Joshua
and his family knew that the Lord, the God of Israel, was the only true
God and the only God worth serving.
So what about you - whom will you serve?