Friday, 8 April 2022
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, …….But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” -Joshua 24:15
After being freed from the slavery of Pharaoh, the Israelites journeyed long, conquered and settled themselves on that land which God had given to them. A long time afterward, Joshua the servant of God gathered and addressed the children of Israel which is recorded in the last two chapters of Joshua (Josh.23:1-2 & 24:1-2). Through him, the Lord reminds the people—from where He called Abraham, the ways God Himself had thus far brought them with His marvellous /mighty hand and reminding them that the victories made- “it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.” (Vs.12-13)
In our reading today, we see the choices made by Joshua and his family and the tribes of Israel. God has given every one the right to choose- from the first Adam on, even the choice between eternal life and death. In the key verse, Joshua makes a statement and gives a challenge to all the congregation is about a choice they have to make immediately. It’s nothing but choosing between the gods which they and their fathers served before or the Lord God who brought them thus far! Though Joshua put this question across to them, he didn’t wait for anyone’s answer but stated his choice: “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (V.15). A role model leader declaring his choice without any doubt because he has tasted and seen that the Lord is good in every way, throughout the journey and till this moment.
Following Joshua’s declaration, the gathered tribes also declare their choice without hesitation: ‘And the people said to Joshua, "The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey."’ (Vs.18, 20 & 24). Here Joshua was not only giving them a choice between gods, he was also seeking for a confession of faith in the Lord from them and which they distinctly made to him. Prior to that, he made it clear to them the things they had to forsake and to follow, without which they can’t serve the Living God. The same is applicable today for us:
Put away the gods (V.23): The gods which their fathers served before, were still there in their midst and he clearly warns them to PUT THEM AWAY. In our daily life we see His hand working for us through many situations, still at times in our struggles many of us tremble and depend on other gods such as money, political influences, recommendations, seeking the prophets (false), etc. Put away all those!!!
After putting away, adhere to the following:
Fear the Lord (V.14)
Serve Him in sincerity and truth (V.14)
Choose the Lord GOD and declare it by faith. (Vs.15,22)
Incline your heart to the Lord (V.23)
Obey His voice (V.24)
Witness Him/the covenant and don’t deny Him. (Vs.26-27)
Today, we have received great possessions from the Lord and also the promises through Jesus Christ; how well do we declare our faith in Him? In our daily life may the Holy Spirit strengthen us to witness HIM in all the areas of our life and through that may many find the living God and eternal life!
Quote for the Day:
“God wants to be the center of your life, not to simply be imbedded in a slice of it.” - Tommy Barnett