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.”
When I heard the word for our prompt today, this is what immediately came to mind! The choice that takes place, often more than once in day.
Will I choose to serve the LORD? or the gods of the people around me…including the ones I manufacture in my own heart!
Which is more important? Whose opinion is more important?
Is the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the One I need to serve? The all-powerful, Creator of othe Universe, GOD of justice, long-suffering GOD, the great I AM, the One who guided His people through the desert for 20 years providing for their needs even when they often rebelled against Him?
The One who cared for them even though the reasons for their 20 year journey there was punishment for rebellion? YES! That GOD! STOP
So here is Joshua, at the end of his life of 110 years. He was one of the two in the minority way back when at the time when Israel was ready to go to the Promised Land the first time. He and Caleb said, “Yes, this pessimistic report is correct BUT we have a GOD that is bigger than this report. He can help us take this land!”
Did Israel listen? NO. They listened to the other ten. Because they listened to the ten, they never were able to even see the Land. Of all the people in the group, the only two of the whole nation who were able to go into the Land of Promise were Caleb and Joshua. And Joshua led the new generation across the Jordan River and in the years following, into the Land.
Joshua often presented Israel with this choice.
This was his last chance.
This isn’t the first place he told them to choose, but it is probably the last. Joshua 24 is a delightful chapter to read and be reminded of GOD’s faithfulness to His people. . .but also, the seriousness of this choice! As usual, the people respond that they will serve the Lord, but it doesn’t take long for their actions to show that they were as weak and frail as we are!
Now, they are ready to face a new time in their lives. Joshua would not be on the scene. What would they do? They had to choose. The GOD who had been the GOD of their fathers…or were they going to intermarry and take up with the heathen nations around them, along with their values?
This is the choice we need to make. It isn’t a one time decision. It is one we make many times a day. At times we make the choice for GOD, for Life and Light. At others, we choose the choice for the temporal, and for Death and Darkness.