I love the story of Joshua! His is a story of power and courage and strength and faithfulness! He certainly lived a passionate life and was faithful until the end. He stood in the face of incredible opposition, incredible odds, and through simple faith in our great God and through the Spirit, he overcame them all. God worked through him to lead the children of Israel to their promised land.
Joshua wrote this book sometime before 1000 B.C. He obviously wrote the book looking back on the events that took place so that we would have a record of what the Lord did! Courage is a theme all throughout the book…in chapter 1, he tells us that when the Lord spoke to him and called him He told him to “be strong and courageous!” Right off the bat in chapter 1 verse 6. Then in verse 7 it says the Lord told him to “be strong and VERY courageous.” Then again in verse 9 again He tells him to “be strong and courageous.” It is definitely a theme throughout the entire book and Joshua lives up to the calling and direction of the Lord from that first chapter!
What I want to focus on today is found in Joshua 24. Joshua gathers all of the people of Israel together to give his last big message and word from the Lord. All of Israel is present including the elders, leaders, judges, and officials…this is a big, important gathering. Then Joshua begins to speak from the Lord and walks them through their history and all that God had done for them. He talks of the battles, the obstacles, the enemies they overcame, the deliverances by the Lord from the Egyptians, the walls of Jericho coming down…he walks them through all of this. Then he says to them these powerful words found in verse 14, “Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.” Then he says something very strange…listen to this…he says, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.” He is putting before them an incredible choice. It is the choice to follow and serve God or follow and serve the false gods of those around them. I love verbs in Scripture because they are directives that I can follow…here he says “choose” meaning “you choose.” Not let the Lord decide for you, but you make the decision! Powerful principle here!!
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