The choices we make—
“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it,
that is in itself a choice.” —Henry James
“Choose you this day whom ye will serve;
as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” —Joshua 24:15
HAT A CHOICE of words given by inspiration to Joshua to challenge the Israelites to remain faithful to God and to us for our learning and instruction (2 Tim. 3:16). In this passage we learn we need to serve the Lord in sincerity and truth, without hypocrisy and from the heart. Verse 14 begins with “Now, therefore”—
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord —Joshua 24:15
Joshua had just recited to the children of Israel what great things God had done for them beginning with Terah, the father of Abraham. God delivered them from the bondage in Egypt; delivered them at the Red Sea; and delivered nations and peoples into their hands so they possessed a land and its cities, and partook of the yield of the land, for which they did not labor. Their eyes had seen these things (Josh. 24:1-13). We have the benefit of the written record for our learning, that we through the patience of the scriptures might have hope (Rom.15:4).
First, notice that Joshua said, “As for me,” clearly stating on an individual level, he will serve the Lord. Brethren, as Joshua, we must first make the personal commitment to serve God in all that we do. Men, fathers, have you made the choice to serve God? Have you “put away” the gods (obstacles) that would hinder your service to God? The fathers of old worshiped false gods (beyond the River, and the gods of the Amorites). Today, there are many false gods such as worldly endeavors, pleasures, — all diversions from seeking God, all vie for our time, a time which should be focused on serving God.
Second, he said, “and my house, we will serve” Joshua made the choice to lead his family in serving the Lord. Next to our individual relationship to God come our families. Men, fathers, listen to the passage! It is your responsibility, just as it was Joshua’s, to lead your family in serving God (Matt. 6:33; Eph. 5:25-29; 6:4; 1 Tim. 5:8).
Third, consider the words… “fear the Lord, serve Him, put away the gods, and choose you this day!”If you have not been diligent in leading your family to serve God, please consider the following:
- Does that mean that you do not “fear” (reverence, revere) God?
- Does that mean that you are not interested in serving God in “sincerity and truth?”
- By not leading your family to serve God, does that mean you haven’t “put away” the gods (obstacles) that hinder your worship to God?
- By not leading your family to serve God, does that mean that it “seems evil” to you to serve the Lord?
The Spirit’s Sword, May 21, 2006, a publication by a local church in Washington state.
Used here by kind permission.