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As we read Joshua’s farewell message to the people of Israel at the conclusion of the book of the Bible bearing his name, we see that Joshua challenged the people to make a choice. The truth in the following verses we see an important choice that every generation is called to make:
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-16 NIV
The twist in this passage is that Joshua reminds the people that they had been chosen by God … and yet now they have a choice to make … Are they going to choose to fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness?! I believe that God is always at work to call us as his creation to Him and into a relationship with Him … and although I don’t believe we can take credit for responding to God’s invitation and yet we have a choice to make … Are we going to respond to the invitation that is available to all in Christ?!
One writer commented on this passage, that the real challenge from Joshua is not will Israel choose the LORD (YHWH), but … “Why in the world would they choose to worship or serve any other god?” You see we are faced with many choices in our world. Are we going to bow down to the idolatry of career, the idolatry of money and possessions, the idolatry of public opinion (and cultural conformity), the idolatry of sports, or even the idolatry of family? But instead are we going to bow down to the LORD and him alone?
Now I am not advocating an anti family message … and yet the best gift that we can give our children and grandchildren is that they have inherited from us an undivided love for the LORD! You see our children know us better than most. They know what really matters to us … they know what our real priorities in life. Do your children and do my children see in us … that we truly “fear the LORD and serve Him with all of our hearts?”