"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
Shortly before Joshua dies, he issues this challenge to the people of Israel. In his tone, you get a sense of his sadness, annoyance, and perhaps disgust. He had been with them throughout the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. He had observed their constant complaints to Moses. When Moses was on the mountain receiving the commandments, he witnessed their creation and worship of the golden calf.
But Joshua also knew the things God had done He had delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt. He provided them with manna from heaven, quail when the complained of no meat and water from a rock. Their clothes and sandals never wore out during those forty years. God gave them the law so that they might become righteous people among nations of godlessness and unrighteousness. As God had promised to their forefather Abraham, he delivered them to a land of their own to become a nation.
You would think the challenge that Joshua issued would have been a no-brainer. It certainly was to Joshua. Of course, we will serve God! We are asked the same question today, who will we serve? There are only two answers, yes or no -- maybe is the same as no. In God, we find deliverance and hope of life eternal; in following other gods, we find may find fleeting, temporary pleasure but nothing else. Those other gods mean death to our spiritual lives, and often cut short our moral lives; “the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).”
Joshua also made this bond not only for himself but for his whole house. In doing this, he expressed his dedication to sharing God’s righteousness with everyone in his house; spouse, children, grandchildren, and servants. When we choose to follow God, this should be our commitment as well. It is still up to each person to make their own yes or no decision, but as Christ’s followers, we witness how God has delivered us.
Precious loving Savior, God, our creator, redeemer, and sustainer, we thank you for your deliverance. When we meet life’s obstacles, you are with us to comfort us, surrounding us with your loving arms of protection. You are our God, and we are your people. We pledge today that for us and our house, we will serve you. Please help us to share the joy of life in your service with all those around us. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.