Summary: We need to take our stand whether who we will serve!
TOPIC: JOSHUA – ELECTION DAY!
Text: Joshua 24
v. 15, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the god’s your forefather served beyond the Rivers, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.”
Last Barangay election we saw how different parties of candidates do all what they can to win the heart of the people. But the decision day is on the very day of election where people cast their votes for the candidates that really won their hearts.
This is the pictures of Joshua 24, where Joshua called for a national assembly in Shechem. Joshua brought his public ministry to a close, as Moses had done before him, with a solemn renewal of the covenant with the Lord. For this solemn act he did not choose Shiloh, the site of National Sanctuary, but Shechem, a place which was sanctified as no other was for such a purpose as this by the most sacred reminiscences from the times of the patriarchs. He therefore summoned all the tribes of Israel, in their representatives (their elders, etc., as in Jos_23:2), to Shechem, not merely because it was at Shechem, i.e., on Gerizim and Ebal, that the solemn establishment of the law in the land of Canaan, to which the renewal of the covenant, as a repetition of the essential kernel of that solemn ceremony, was now to be appended, had first taken place, but still more because it was here that Abraham received the first promise from God after his migration into Canaan, and built an altar at the time (Gen_12:6-7); and most of all, because Jacob settled here on his return from Mesopotamia, and it was here that he purified his house from the strange gods, burying all their idols under the oak (Gen_33:19; Gen_35:2, Gen_35:4). As Jacob selected Shechem for the sanctification of his house, because this place was already consecrated by Abraham as a sanctuary of God, so Joshua chose the same place for the renewal of the covenant, because this act involved a practical renunciation on the part of Israel of all idolatry. Joshua expressly states this in Jos_24:23 and reference is also made to it in the account in Jos_24:26. The exhortation to be faithful to the Lord, and to purify themselves from all idolatry, could not fail to make a deep impression, in the place where the honored patriarch had done the very same things to which his descendants were exhorted here.
QUESTION: What action is involved in the renewal of covenant with God?
1. It Involves Deliberation
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you…”
Deliberation (reflection, consideration, thought)
a. Past vv. 2-13
b. Present v. 14
c. Future vv. 15b-18
Digging the past and connect it to the present time that will give to the right perspective for the future!
2. It Involves Decision
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”
Choose - Service of God in sincerity and truth can only result from a free and willing allegiance of the heart. This accordingly is what Joshua invites, as Moses had done before him (Deu_30:15 ff). And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, Irksome (annoying, irritating, tiresome) and troublesome, a burden, a weariness, and not a pleasure and delight: choose you this day whom you will serve; say if you have found a better master, and whose service will be more pleasant and profitable: whether the gods your fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood; the river Euphrates; these may bid rid rest for antiquity, but then they were such their fathers had relinquished, and for which undoubtedly they had good reason; and to take up with the worship of these again was to impeach their wisdom, judgment, and good sense: or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but then these were such as could not preserve their worshippers in the land, or the Israelites had not dwelt in it, and therefore no dependence could be had upon them for future security. The Amorites are only mentioned, because they were a principal nation, some of which dwelt on one side Jordan, and some on the other, and indeed there were of them in the several parts of the land: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord; be your choice as it may be: this was the resolution of Joshua, and so far as he knew the sense of his family, or had influence over it, could and did speak for them; and which he observes as an example set for the Israelites to follow after; he full well knowing that the examples of great personages, such as governors, supreme and subordinate, have great influence over those that are under them,