Joshua goes on to challenge the children of God when he says, “Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 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.” One of the things I like about Joshua is that he made things really clear for the people. Here he clearly gives them a choice on how they are to live. Stated already is the fact that living for and serving God will bring blessings to them; look what God gave them without working for it. But now he calls for the people to throw away all that is not of God and give complete allegiance to Jehovah.
Expressing the challenge like he does, he gives them the thought that if it seems right to them to not follow God then choose that way. His challenge is plain, follow God or not follow God!
Joshua now clearly spells out his priorities to the people of God. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Here is an old warrior who has experienced everything from the slavery of Egypt, to the wandering in the desert, eating manna plus being pushed into a great leadership position to guide all of God’s people through the long battles of conquering the Promised Land; now he declares without hesitation his loyalty to God, He stands with the Lord and so does all of his household. They are one in the same, he and his house! (Ironside)“His was an unflinching and unquestioning loyalty to the Holy One of Israel whom he had served for so long.”
The exchange between Joshua and the people is very interesting, to say the least. The people declare with certainty that they will choose the Lord and serve Him. But Joshua questions what they say. Really? You are not able to serve Him, He is holy God and He is a jealous God and if you sin against Him with foreign gods He will not forgive your rebellion. Again, they declare their loyalty to God. Joshua finally expresses himself to say that they will be witnesses against themselves if they sin. Because of their choice, they are to cast off the foreign gods and obey God only, with the people promising once more, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey Him.”
What does all this mean for us here at NABC? In this New Year one of the things that would make a difference in our lives would be to declare once again our loyalty to the Lord our God! God has a right to ask you and me if we will be faithful to Him in all things.
Will you be willing to serve Him with all that you are?
Do you have the courage to stand before this congregation and declare to Him and to all here that, “As for my house we will serve, follow and worship the Lord Jesus Christ and do all that He asks of us to do in this New Year?”
Remember, God knows our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 says,