Summary: These are the last words of Joshua and they were a call to commitment.
A Decision of the Heart Joshua 24:1-25
The prime minister of Israel sat down with the leader of the Arab nations with the intention of negotiating an end to their long drawn out conflict. The prime minister asked if he could begin by recounting a story and the Arab leader very politely said, "Of course, go ahead." So, he said, "Years before the Israelites came to the Promised Land and settled there, Moses led them for 40 years through the desert and during this period, the Israelites began to complain that they were thirsty. Lo and behold, a miracle occurred and a stream appeared before them. They not only drank their fill but they also began to bathe their dusty bodies in the stream but when Moses came out of the water, he noticed that his clothes were missing."
"’Who took my clothes?’" demanded Moses. "’It was the Palestinians,’" replied the Israelites. Well, at that point, the Arab leader objected and he said, "Wait a minute. There were no Palestinians during the time of Moses." "Precisely," replied the prime minister. "Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s begin our negotiations."
“And Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said unto all the people, thus saith the LORD God of Israel, your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac. And I gave unto Isaac, Jacob and Esau: and I gave unto Esau mount Seir, to possess it; but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. I sent Moses also and Aaron and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. And when they cried unto the LORD, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you: but I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand. And ye went over Jordan, and came unto Jericho: and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I delivered them into your hand. And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labor, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and olive yards which ye planted not, do ye eat.
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; for the LORD our God, He it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: and the LORD drove out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for He is our God.