Summary: This is about choosing to follow God.
We have so many CHOICES. Cereals, soaps, cars. The Model-T was offered only in black. Minor choices: socks, Coke or Pepsi, car color. Major choices: marriage, career, where to live.
Give a brief history of exodus and conquest.
Read Joshua 24:14-18.
The people were faced with a choice.
I. The choice is CLEAR.
The choice that Joshua laid before the people of Israel was clear. Their choice was black and white. Joshua clearly endorsed the service of the Lord.
A. The choice was between the TRUE God and FALSE gods.
Joshua gave them a choice: serve other gods (of other nations: Egypt, Canaan, etc) or the true God.
We can either choose to serve our gods or God. What are our gods? They could be anything.
The “other gods” were multiple, but there is only one true God.
Jeremiah 10:10 says, “But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King.”
John 17:3, says, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Jesus was praying for us.
B. The choice could not be HALFWAY.
The choice could not be to serve God and the other gods. Many of the people had secretly served the other gods, but we cannot keep secrets from God.
When I was a kid, there were two ways to get to the house, the road that curved or the straight road. There was no halfway. It’s like being a little pregnant.
II. The choice is TODAY.
Joshua said, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” The time had come to make the choice. 2 Corinthians 6:2, “Today is the day of salvation.” (NLT)
A. The choice could not rely on the PAST.
Each new generation has to make their choice for God.
I had to come to the point where I could no longer rely on the faith of my parents. I had to make my own conscious decision to follow God and do his will.
B. The choice could not WAIT.
The choice had to be made that day.
When we take the kids to Baskin-Robins we often have to say, “Make your choice today.”
When I had to decide which street to take on the way home, there came a point if I didn’t choose, my mom or dad chose, and I had no choice.
There will come a time when the window of chance to choose God will close, and it’ll be too late.
III. The choice is OBVIOUS.
Joshua is saying that the choice should be obvious. It was like choosing between filet mignon and a hot dog. Joshua says that it should be a “no brainer.”
A. The choice was based on the PAST.
There is an old adage that says, “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
The people of Israel had the knowledge of what God had done in the past. From Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the great patriarchs of their nation. God had been faithful and made covenants with them.
History is important. It is so helpful to remember what has happened. Communion, weddings, and the like help us remember.
B. The choice was based on EXPERIENCE.
Experience is a great teacher. The people had seen how God had helped them to conquer the Promised Land.
The people said, “For it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land.”
When we follow God, we experience his goodness and faithfulness, & makes it easier to follow.
IV. The choice is ONGOING.
This isn’t a “one-and-done” choice. The choice is ongoing. That doesn’t mean that we have to get saved everyday, but we cannot rest on the choices of the past.
A. The choice was not TEMPORARY.
DC Talk said, “But in day to day living, we tend to give up/On commitments that were made before life got tough/With compromise in our eyes and pressure from peers/We renege on a decision that we once held so dear.” We cannot get distracted by other things.
John 15:5-6 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.”
B. The choice looks to the FUTURE.