Summary: Some of the decisions that we make in life are not that earth shattering, history will see little difference in the cereal you chose to eat for breakfast, but there are choices in life that important, even life altering. These are choice made by every hum
He is asking them to examine the facts and then decide. Joshua’s primary concern is crystal-clear; He wants them to know who the real God is. It is not with the might of their swords or bows that the victory has been won, but by the power of God. God had done it all. But the people nevertheless have to choose God for themselves – intelligently, decisively and willingly.
This is the God who made heaven and earth. This is this the God who loved man to much to leave him in his sin. This is the God who demonstrated His love by sending His only son to earth to earth to live among us. This is the God who knew that we could never earn our way into heaven by good works, so he went to the cross bearing our sins. This is the God whom the grave could not hold, and rose victoriously from the grave. This is the God who established the church and who is coming back in the form of His Son to bring all of human history to an culmination. This is the God, that we are called to serve.
WE CHOOSE WHO WE WILL SERVE
“Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! (15) And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. …”
There can be little doubt about what Joshua is after. The word “serve” appears seven times in verses fourteen and fifteen. Joshua that day called for a decision that would help end the spiritual, intellectual and moral restlessness that marked so many lives. Joshua demands a commitment when he says, “And now fear the Lord and serve him whole heartedly and without reservation.”
Hundreds of years later, the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel gave a similar challenge. He said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him,, but if Baal, follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21) One translation of this verse renders it, (RSV) “How long will you go limping with two different opinions.”
Joshua urged them to rationally consider the options. Joshua now presents them with four options. 1. They could follow the old gods of Mesopotamia, “the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River,” as Abraham did before his call. 2. They could worship the gods of Egypt which they are so familiar with from 400 hundred years of slavery in Egypt. 3. Or if they preferred they could adopt the gods of the Canaanites whom they had just spend seven year defeating. 4. But the real God was still an option.
Reflecting on all that God has done (vv. 1-13) it is the only reasonable response to overwhelming waves of God’s goodness. The same pattern is repeated in the New Testament, the lavish goodness of God is depicted in Romans 1-11 and then Romans 12:1 calls all men to the only rational response. You know the verse so don’t turn there just listen as I read this verse in a literal translation. “So then brothers, in view of all these mercies that God has bestowed on you, I now make this plea. Present your bodies to God, present them as a sacrifice – a living one, not a lifeless one; a holy one (because it is offered to a holy God), and one in which He will take pleasure. For, when you consider your indebtedness to God, the consecration of your lives in his service is your logical act of worship.”