Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Joshua 22-24; Luke 3
14 “So now, revere the Lord. Serve him honestly and faithfully. Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the Lord. 15 But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.”
16 Then the people answered, “God forbid that we ever leave the Lord to serve other gods! 17 The Lord is our God. He is the one who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. He has done these mighty signs in our sight. He has protected us the whole way we’ve gone and in all the nations through which we’ve passed. 18 The Lord has driven out all the nations before us, including the Amorites who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.”
19 Then Joshua said to the people, “You can’t serve the Lord, because he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won’t forgive your rebellion and your sins. 20 If you leave the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn around and do you harm and finish you off, in spite of having done you good in the past.”
21 Then the people said to Joshua, “No! The Lord is the one we will serve.”
22 So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”
They said, “We are witnesses!” (Joshua 24:14-22, Common English Bible)
Joshua knows. Joshua knows just how finicky the Israelites could be. He saw first hand, as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness and would see God’s mighty hand at work. Then, for a while, they would follow. It didn’t take long, however, before they would start to slide back into their old habits of grumbling and complaining and wanting to go back to Egypt, where life had been “good” and there was always plenty of food to eat and plenty to drink. What is more, the food and drink were given to them for free. Life had been better back in Egypt.
Sure they might have had more food and drink, but things were anything but good. Things were hard and while they had food and drink that cost them nothing, the food and drink were free because they were not.
They would grumble and God would provide and the Israelites would be happy once again. And, because they were happy, they followed. But, once again, it didn’t take long for them to fall back into the same old habits and everything would repeat itself. Grumbling, God providing, happiness, and grumbling, it happened over and over again. It is a pattern throughout much of the Old Testament.
The Israelites are now safe and secure in the Promised Land. God is speaking to Joshua and Joshua calls representatives from all the tribes to gather. God outlines what has been done for them. Then God says, through Joshua, “Choose today whom you will serve.” The Israelites had to make a choice, would they follow the one true God or would they choose to follow other, false, gods. Then Joshua says his famous line, “But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).
The same goes for us We have to choose today who we will follow. Will we follow the one true God, or will we chase after other gods? But, it seems to me, that this is not a one-time decision. We have to choose today and tomorrow and the day after that and every day of our lives who we will choose to follow.
As for me, I choose the Lord.
Have a blessed day in Him.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved