Our lives are filled with choices...from the clothes we put on when we first get up in the morning to what we eat to fuel our bodies for the day to what we will do throughout the day—there are multiple choices which we make. Now, obviously, some choices are more important than other choices. Most of the time, the choices I make about my clothing are not all that earth shattering; and often I may go throughout my day, just doing what needs
to be done next, not feeling like I have much choice in the matter at all, but other times my choices do matter and they matter a lot.
“Choose this day whom you will serve…as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
One of the most important choices we make each and every day is whom we are going to serve. We may not think of it in these terms, but that’s the choice each of us faces each and every day.
Joshua lays this choice out clearly for the people of Israel. The people of Israel after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years have finally entered the promised land and now that they are there, they begin to get pulled away from the one true God—the God who had led them out of slavery in Egypt to freedom—the God who had safely guided them during their wilderness years—the God who had led them into this new land long promised to them—and now that they are settled in the land they are being lured away from the God who had been so faithful to them by all the false gods which surround them in this new land.
So, Joshua calls the people together and reminds them of all that God has done for them and then he sets a choice before them—whom are they going to serve—are they really going to abandon the one true God for all these other false gods—or will they choose to serve God. And then as any good leader does, Joshua leads by example and boldly proclaims “as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I imagine if Joshua were here today, he would ask us the same question he asked the Israelites. Whom are you going to serve? For there are many false gods in our world today and many Christians have gotten lured away into following them and they don’t even realize it—the false gods of self and wealth and power—have become such an insidious part of our culture and mindset that we don’t even realize that they are counter to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is why we need to read and study God’s Word and hear the Gospel preached on a regular basis so that God can begin to challenge and root out the false gods we have allowed to take up space in our hearts.
Holy God, open my eyes to see the false gods that I have allowed to take up residence in my heart. Like Joshua before me I am choosing this day that I and my household will serve the Lord. Give me, I pray, not only the desire to serve you, but the will to do so as well. Amen.