Summary: Subject: Choices in life, our situations are the reaction to our actions.
Proposition: Choose God!
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, Hear what the Lord of Israel says. Your fathers resided 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 to 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 for a long season. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side of Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that you 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, and 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 you did not build and you dwell in them; of the vineyards and olive yards which you planted not you have eaten.
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.
Every time we pick up the Bible and read in the Old Testament, we find the children of Israel in yet another quandary. Slavery, Lost in the wilderness, hungry, thirsty, trapped, in battles against armies with stronger force....in each trial they were eventually blessed with a victory, but each victory was short lived and quickly forgotten by the thankless lot as indicated by their choices.
Mumbling and grumbling instead of thankfulness. Whining and complaining instead of faithfulness. Looking everywhere and elsewhere for help instead of waiting on their helper. Worshipping gods made by hand instead of leaning on the one who had all power in his hands. Repeatedly in the scriptures we find that they didn’t need much persuasion to choose anything and everything but to God! MMMMMMMMMMMMM much like us today.
We find Joshua calling the children of Israel together to talk about their wavering convictions and commitment to God. Reprimanding just as Elijah did on Mount Carmel and Hosea prophesied about Ephraim. Angered by the level of the ungrateful attitude of this group of people who had the hand of God upon them but chose to look to bronze and silver idols to worship. Joshua’s level of anger is evident when he tells the Israelites to choose whom they are going to serve....one or the other! Then reinforcing his level of faith in God, he let’s them know that he and his household will serve Jehovah!
We live in a free country. One of the incredible freedoms we have in our nation is to be able to make choices.
We have choices each day. We choose rather or not we will get out of bed or lay in all day. We choose rather or not we will shower and dress or not each day. We choose outfits from our wardrobe. Shoes from our closets. We choose what to eat. Choices. We chose the automobiles we drive. The neighborhoods in which we reside. We can even choose the color of our eyes and hair and yes with the assistance of makeup, we can chose the color of our complexion. Choices!