Summary: Some of the decisions that we make in life are not that earth shattering, history will see little difference in the cereal you chose to eat for breakfast, but there are choices in life that important, even life altering. These are choice made by every hum
A Study of Joshua
Sermon # 12
“The Bottom Line Choice”
Joshua 24: 14-28
This week I listened as on the popular singers of our day (Alanis Morrisett) was interviewed about her work. When asked to characterize her music she replied, “I sing about truth.” And then she added, “My truth.” What she has bought into is the current notion that, “My truth may not be your truth.” The idea that even the truth is subjective and is not the same for every one.
This kind of mindset has produced a culture in which the complexity of life reflects itself in the restlessness of spiritual indecision and a search for answers to life’s problems. It is not that Americans have never heard of Jesus Christ. Perhaps no nation on earth has been more exposed to religious broadcasting by radio, television, and magazines. The name Jesus can be heard on a daily basis. But the value system of our society is shifting and because the old answers are dismissed as unacceptable, there is a prevalent air of restlessness. This spiritual restlessness also characterized the final years of Joshua.
Although the people of God had not yet completed the conquest of the Promised land, they were restless. Some of the people were strong in the faith, making a different for God in their society. There were others who had sold out body and soul to contemporary thoughts, morals and practices. And in between the two were a large group of their countryman who had made no clear decision as to where they stood in relation to God. To this group Joshua address his remarks urging them to move beyond indecision and restlessness, to a clear-cut decision for God.
Why is that right decisions are more difficult to make than wrong ones. Someone has accurately observed that the path of least resistance is what makes people and rivers crooked. Some of the decisions that we make in life are not that earth shattering, history will see little difference in the cereal you chose to eat for breakfast, but there are choices in life that important, even life altering. These are choice made by every human being. And we have to live with the consequences.
Joshua begins by rehearsing for them all that God had done for them. Beginning in verse three, speaking on the behalf of God Joshua, seventeen times in rapid-fire succession Joshua shouts aloud for the Lord, “… I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and (I) multiplied his descendants and (I) gave him Isaac. (4) To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau….. (5) I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to what I did among them. Afterward I brought you out…... (8) And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, who dwelt on the other side of the Jordan, and they fought with you. But I gave them into your hand, that you might possess their land, and I destroyed them from before you…. (13) I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’”
He is asking them to examine the facts and then decide. Joshua’s primary concern is crystal-clear; He wants them to know who the real God is. It is not with the might of their swords or bows that the victory has been won, but by the power of God. God had done it all. But the people nevertheless have to choose God for themselves – intelligently, decisively and willingly.
This is the God who made heaven and earth. This is this the God who loved man to much to leave him in his sin. This is the God who demonstrated His love by sending His only son to earth to earth to live among us. This is the God who knew that we could never earn our way into heaven by good works, so he went to the cross bearing our sins. This is the God whom the grave could not hold, and rose victoriously from the grave. This is the God who established the church and who is coming back in the form of His Son to bring all of human history to an culmination. This is the God, that we are called to serve.
WE CHOOSE WHO WE WILL SERVE
“Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! (15) And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. …”