Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Pentecost 14(B) - AUGUST 25, 2002 - Believers make the right choice when they forsake false gods and follow the true God.


JOSHUA 24:1,2a;14-18 AUGUST 25, 2002

1Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God.

2Joshua said to all the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says...

...14"Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served be-yond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

16Then the people answered, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! 17It was the LORD our God himself who brought our fathers and us up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and per-formed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. 18And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because he is our God."

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Dearest Fellow-Redeemed and Saints in the Lord:

Decisions, decisions, choices and choices?our life is full of them, isn?t it? It starts when we get out of bed in the morning. What are we going to eat? What are we going to wear? What are we going to do for the day? Sometimes it seems as if the simplest of choices and the smallest of decisions have the greatest impact for what happens in our lives and in the lives of others. Today, Joshua gives the people a choice?a choice to fol-low God or not to follow him. As we?re going to see, it?s not much of a choice once one stops to think about it. You and I make many choices and decisions, small ones, big ones. Thankfully in our life the Lord has made for us the biggest choice of all. Rather than have us sit in darkness and be doomed for eternal destruction, he has chosen for each one of us eternal life. He has provided for us the light of the knowledge of salvation, so that you and I will eventually rejoice in eternal glory. That choice our gracious God has made for each one of us. We can?t choose God but He has chosen us.

When Moses came to the end of leading the children of Israel, he gathered them together. He told them they would have a choice. They were going to go into the Promised Land, the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (We had that in our readings today.) Moses was concerned about the people because he knew that now as they lived in the lap of luxury, they might be forgetting about God. They would have enough to eat and drink. They would no longer see the glory of God in the pillar of fire or the cloud of smoke, and they just might not remember who gave them all those things. Moses knew that as they would sit in that lap of luxury, the land flowing with milk and honey, they would be tempted to follow other gods, they would be tempted to forget God all together. So he gives them a choice also. We read in God?s Word: "Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him"(DEUTERONOMY 30:19b, 20a). Moses told the people, ?Make the right choice.? Joshua tells the peo-ple, ?Make the right choice.? We are reminded this morning to make the right choice.


I. Forsake false gods

II. Follow the true God


The people were in the Promised Land already. Joshua is the next leader. He came after Moses. Some-times we don?t remember Joshua because we know so much about Moses. He was almost as great a leader as Moses because he had to remind the people that, as they were in the Promised Land just as Moses said, to listen to the Lord God. Now they are there in the Promised Land. 1Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. He called to them to make an announcement, to encourage them not to forget God.

When Joshua reminds them that he is still God?s prophet, he?s not trying to tell them what he thinks, but he?s going to tell them what God says. He says in our text: 2Joshua said to all the people, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says...? Joshua reminded them again that it was the God of Israel who had done many things for them. In the verses that we don?t have as part of today?s text, he talks about their deliverance from Egypt; how they were delivered first of all from the land of slavery, how they were delivered through the Red Sea, how they were delivered into wanderings in the wilderness. After he talks about all those things, then he comes to the next verse of our text, verse 14:

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