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. Joshua 24:15 ESV
Writer: Chapter 24 of the book of Joshua may have been written down by Joshua or recounted by the high priest Phinehas.
Context: More than a million Israelites fled Egypt with Moses, but out of these, Joshua and Caleb were the only two who entered the Promised Land. The book of Joshua tells what happened as Joshua led the Israelites into this land and conquered it for the Lord. They moved from city to city, cleansing the land of wickedness by destroying every trace of idol worship and false gods. Throughout the book, Joshua urges the people to continue to follow the Lord and worship Him alone, and in this, his final message to the people of Israel, he recounts their story from Terah and Abraham to the battles and all the -ites and the cities where they now live. His message ends with this call to the people to worship the one true God, and then the people pledge to serve and obey Him.
Connect the Dots: The people of Israel had to decide whether they would obey the Lord, who had proven his trustworthiness, or obey the local gods which were only hand-made idols. It’s easy to slip into quiet rebellion, going about your life in your own way for your own purposes. But the time comes when you have to choose who or what will control you.
This passage was very timely for me as I am battling a certain sin in my life. It’s like Paul wrote in Romans 7:15 (ESV),
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
I completely understand because I keep committing this sin even though I know I shouldn’t. For a long time, I didn’t want to change but prayed for God to make me want to change. Something happened recently that turned my heart back toward a righteous path, and I am ready to make a change.
As Christians, we get to decide whether we will follow the Lord or obey our fleshy desires. He doesn’t make us do the right thing; He leaves it up to our free will. But in Joshua 24:15, He charges us: are you going to serve the Lord or are you going to live for yourself?
Joshua, a righteous man of God, chose to follow the Lord. In taking a stand for the Lord, Joshua showed his spiritual leadership. Regardless of what the others chose, he made a commitment to God. He was determined to set an example of living through godliness.
The world is watching us. The way we live shows others the strength of our commitment to serve God.
- Who are you serving? How do your actions display this commitment?
- What are the idols in your life? How do you know?
- How can you break free of the idols in your life and turn back towards the one true God?
Dear Redeemer, Please bring me back to your fold. Make me want to change and recommit myself to You and lead my children and family back to your grace. Please forgive my sins and help me to be strong and faithful in doing what is right. Help me to serve You and You alone. I can’t do this without you. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and a great desire to follow You always. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
What small steps can you take this week to becoming a family that boldly declares, As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord?