Choose Whom You Will Serve

Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. Joshua said to all the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:
. . . "I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.'  "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." 
Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods!    . . ." Joshua: 24:1-16.
Joshua was close to the end of his life. He had faithfully served the LORD and would soon depart the earth. Joshua gathered all the people of Israel and renewed their covenant with God.
God had faithfully kept His promises to Israel. He had given Israel a land flowing with milk and honey. He had given them cities and farms for which they did not toil. They simply drove out the inhabitants and inherited everything.

But, Joshua was concerned about the continued faithfulness of the Israelites. He challenged them to put away all foreign gods and serve Yahweh faithfully. The Israelites gave Joshua the assurance that they would serve God loyally but Joshua pointedly said to them: "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; He is a jealous God . . . If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after He has been good to you." (Joshua 24:19-20). God demanded integrity and truth.
Joshua made it clear that regardless of whatever choices the people made, he and his household will serve the LORD. Joshua kept his word and was faithful to the end.

We know from the Scriptures, however, that the Israelites forsook God. They did not keep their promise. They prostituted themselves to other gods. As a result, God brought judgment and Israel was decimated by her enemies. They were captured and sent into captivity in foreign lands.

The truth is: Serving God faithfully involves more than a verbal proclamation. The God we serve is holy and righteous and we must not make flippant promises to Him. God is gracious but we must not presume on the grace of God! Such ungodliness has definite repercussions. God will always help us to keep our promises to Him if we are sincere in our hearts and in our spirit.

Have you made a promise like Joshua that, "As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD?" If you really mean it, God will help you to fulfill it.

Prayer: LORD, as for me and my household, we will serve you. Help me to fulfill it. Amen.