Wednesday, March 25

The most important choice

Scripture: Joshua 23-24, Psalm 44, 1 Corinthians 11

Joshua 24:14–15 “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Observation

Near the end of his life, Joshua gathered Israel for a solemn renewal of their covenant with God.  He reminded them of all God had done for them: calling the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), freeing them from Egyptian slavery, leading them through the wilderness and into the Promised Land, giving them victory over all their enemies.

In spite of all this, many of them still wavered in idolatry, worshipping the gods of their forefathers from beyond the Euphrates (pre-Abraham), or the gods of Egypt or the gods Canaan where they now lived.  So Joshua calls them to abandon their idolatry and “Serve the Lord alone.” (v. 14)  

It was time to choose—again—and Joshua called for a clear choice.  “Choose today whom you will serve.”  And then Joshua declared his choice: “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”  

Application

“As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

I’ve seen this verse on many plaques hung in homes.  It is, of course, more than just a nice sentiment inscribed on a plaque.  It’s the choice that each of us must make.  You will serve someone.  You were made to worship and you will worship someone.  It may be yourself, or another person, or the work of your own hands (money, things), or the idols of our culture (power, sex, success).  Someone or something will be most important to you, at the top of your values pyramid.  You choose.

This choice affects every other.  This choice defines you and makes you who you are.  Just as Israel needed to regularly renew its covenant, refresh its choice, so we too must revisit this regularly, and decide again: Whom will I serve?  It is the most important choice you’ll ever make. So…

Choose today whom you will serve.  

As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.

Prayer: Lord, help us see clearly how important this is, and help us make the right choice.  Let this be true of us: as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.