Summary: Today is an historic day... today we get to choose whom we will serve and how we will serve.
Title: Today We Get to Vote!
Text: Joshua 24:1-3 and 14-24
The Big Idea: Today is an historic day… today we get to vote. Today we get to choose.
On Tuesday the absentee ballots, the mail-In ballots, the early-voting ballots, and the ballots cast that day will be counted and a new president-elect will be named. The citizens of our democracy will have expressed their preferences and a new leader will be chosen to lead our country into the next four- year term. We cherish the privilege of voting. We like to have our say and we like having our way even more… so we vote, we choose.
After all the ballots are counted and the winner is announced… there will be many who are
very pleased and there will likely be nearly as many who are equally disappointed. There will be some whose hearts are filled with hope and anticipation and there will be some whose hearts are filled with despair and dread… in either case, we will all step across the line in 2009 and the onset of the next four years.
At least we get to choose every four years… not so in the Old Testament story of the Children of Israel on their epic journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. They were given their leadership and their terms were for life… unless God, as God did on occasion, impose term limits. The first was leader was Moses and Joshua was the second.
Interestingly enough, neither Moses nor Joshua seemed all that concerned about whether the Israelites were big personal fans of their leadership. Rather, they were concerned that the people be committed to following God.
At the end of his term of leadership, Moses called the people together in Deuteronomy 28-30, and challenged them to choose to follow God.
“Today I give you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life. Then you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give you…” Deuteronomy 30:19-24
Moses went on to assure the people of Israel that if they would commit to following God, they would discover that God is absolutely faithful.
“Do not be afraid… the Lord your God will neither fail you nor forsake you. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord will be with you; he will neither fail your nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 and 8
After Moses died, Joshua became the designated leader of the people of Israel. Their journey continued into the land God had promised to give them… then when Joshua neared the end of his term of office and death, he, after the manner of Moses, called the people together and gave them a similar challenge.
He said, “Honor the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly… but if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
What followed was a three-fold affirmation of their desire and determination to follow God: