Many things have been computerized in our day. The game of chess is completely computerized. If you play the computer in a game of chess you can even find out the rating for every move you make. The computer can tell you if you made a good decision or a bad decision in your chess move and give you a weighted score for that decision.
So far now our spiritual lives have not become this systematized. There is no computer program or phone application that will tell you if you are making a good spiritual decision or a bad one. Our moral decision making is just one of those areas of life where we have to seek God. That must be disappointing for some technology nerds.
Read Joshua 24:14-15
If you are going to put a framed scripture verse over your fireplace mantle, then it doesn’t get much better than Joshua 24:15. “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Hanging this verse on the fireplace mantle is symbolic for a house that has made the choice to follow God.
In this passage we find Israel at the crossroads. They had been through many victories and seen God work dramatic miracles, but they now stood at a fork in the road. Will they follow God with their whole heart? It is a significant choice to make that has huge life consequences.
“Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve.” Joshua 24:15
To set the stage for this event we find Joshua near the end of his life. God has been faithful in the victories as Joshua led God’s people. For the most part the promise of God’s covenant was realized. God’s people had entered the Promised Land and conquered the enemy that possessed this land that was promised to them. However there were still pockets of enemy people and their influence in the land.
Unless the people were obedient to take all of the land the people were at risk to take on the worship of false gods the local people. In fact they already had done so to some extent. They had their feet in two boats. They were worshipping idols and worshipping Jehovah God that strictly forbid any worship besides to Him.
In calling them to this great commitment Joshua gives the people a history lesson about their forefathers and their faithfulness. Joshua begins his teaching with the call of Abraham. The call of Abraham came in the context of his family worshiping other gods. By God’s grace and mercy He calls Abraham to be a blessing to all the families of the earth. It is a promise of the coming Christ.
What really added weight to Joshua appealing to them was that Abraham made his covenant with God at Shechem, the very place they were they were standing and Joshua was calling them to renew their covenant with God. He moves the story to Abraham’s son Isaac and then to Abraham’s grandson Jacob. At Shechem where they were standing Jacob built an altar and dedicated himself fully to God. At the end of his life Jacob and his sons ended up in Egypt.
Joshua gives the account of how God used Mosses and Aaron. Joshua reminds them of the Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea. Then Joshua reminds them of the great victories they won as they possessed the land. Now serve the Lord! Joshua just delivered one of the greatest speeches in history.
But what about us now? Have you seen God do gracious and mighty works in your midst? What about your Spiritual heritage? The price Jesus paid on the cross for your sins. The early apostles that carried the Gospel despite persecution and sometimes martyrdom. The reformers and the radical reformers who paid a price for grace and faith and the Bible. How many times has God proven Himself faithful in your life? How many victories have you seen? We have reason to choose this day to serve God ourselves.
It is an imperative, choose this day! Joshua demonstrated their forefathers had chosen to serve God. But that is not enough. Each generation, each individual must himself choose to serve God.
When you stand before God the issue is not were your parents and grandparents faithful. What did you do with your life? What was your response in the most important matter of all? To follow and serve God.
Joshua lays it on the line. Will you serve God? The call is to stand in stark contrast to the people around them. The call was vitally important and the call was urgent. Making your choice to follow God is the most important of all.
One summer as a new believer I worked at Kings Dominion Amusement Park between Richmond and Washington DC. I shared with a girl who worked with me named Suzan about our condition of sin and Jesus work on the cross and about trusting in Jesus Christ by faith. She did not accept this. She laughed. You are saying the same things Jimmy the fiddler (Jimmy was hired to play the fiddle in the park entertainment shows) said about Jesus.
That night Susan’s house was burned and she was killed. If she could only have seen how important and how urgent what Jimmy the fiddler and I had been trying to tell her. Choose this day to serve God.
Joshua said, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. The people responded, we will serve the Lord. That is an exciting response to me, but Joshua was cautious. He told them, “you are not able to serve the Lord. God is holy and jealous.” Don’t make a shallow commitment, That is too tragic.
If you decide this day to serve the Lord then it should be genuine and real. That was what Joshua was so concerned the people understood. There is no use in a commitment to God that is shallow with nothing but a lot of show.
OK says Joshua, then throw away everything and anything that stands as a hindrance to serving God and yield your heart to God (Joshua 24:23). This was a for real commitment to serve God. The people followed God as long as Joshua lived.
Chose for yourself this day who you will serve. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
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