The nation was losing a great leader. He had served them well. He had led them well. He had faithfully followed in the footsteps as his predecessor as the nation conquered all who stood before them. Now, approaching 110 years old, he was nearing his death. However, as the great leader he was, he addressed the people one final time. He knew he had to be firm, for their history was one of indecisiveness when it came to staying focused on their God. So, he told them plainly, “Put away the gods that have plagued you since the days of captivity. Serve Jehovah! Choose! Decide today and every day whom you serve and commit to that decision. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” (Joshua 24:14-15). Joshua knew the nation of Israel needed to be reminded – knew they needed to make a conscious decision about where their loyalties lied. So, as Moses before him had, he challenged the people to make a choice: God…or gods?
We have the same decision to make, don’t we? Certainly we’re not tempted to follow after the gods of the Amorites, the Hittites and the Jebusites as Israel was. But, we too must make our decision. We must choose between being “religious” people or faithful Christians. We have to decide whether we’re a “church-goer” or a devoted disciple of Jesus. And we too must decide every single day.
It’s tempting to read Joshua’s instructions as a one-time decision. Yet the truth is we do face challenges to our commitment every single day. Of course we make a singular decision to devote our lives to Christ and be buried with Him in baptism – a one-time event. But, day in and day out we’re going be tested and challenged and we have to do all we can to fortify that decision. Our times of Bible study and worship are great times to do that. Times like men’s and ladies’ retreats are great opportunities to reinforce our choice.
What is your decision…today, this minute? Joshua’s words ring across the centuries: “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” (ESV). My prayer for each of us is daily we declare to the world, “As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord!”