“…But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
The book of Joshua recounts the story of how the people of Israel that had once been slaves in Egypt conquered the land that God had given them. Because of their faithless response to the word of the Lord, an entire generation perished in a wilderness. A new generation set to the task of conquering the promised land while bringing righteous judgment to the wickedness that lived there.
Joshua was the leader of the nation at that time, and in chapter 23, he is an older man charging the leaders of the blessings that come from following God and the destruction that follows those that compromise. For Joshua, there is no question about the faithfulness of God to deliver his people, but he has severe warnings for those that will claim to belong to God’s family but worship other Gods.
This same call to absolute devotion is echoed in the words of Jesus as He says” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37. The call to make this decision is not unique to the Israelites of Joshua 14 or the Emerging New Testament Church. The call to choose to serve God and turn from all other temptations and altars rings out today as well!
Today, men must rise to a devotion that is devoid of compromise. Men are created to lead families and homes with the same love and care that Christ leads His Church with. There are so many examples of faithless and unfaithful men in our lives that it can be difficult to have hope that there is another way. It is in that darkness that the Hope of the Gospel shines brightest, and the good news is that Jesus has made way for men to choose life for themselves and their households.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15
3 Ways to Choose Life
Fear the Lord: Reverent awe is the foundational response of anyone when they consider what God has done for them. Jesus’ deliverance from Sin, Death, and God’s righteous wrath brings us to humble submission. Caleb is an excellent example in Joshua 14 as he received an inheritance for wholly following the Lord. Our eternal inheritance awaits us as we endure till the end as well.
Put away other gods: The truth is that all people come from serving and worshiping other gods. None of us are born worshipping the one true God, so all of us have to set aside those old altars and embrace the cross of Christ. The Israelites had a history of assimilating false Gods from a previous Egyptian pantheon through the pagan rituals of Cannan. For some, it is addictions, depression, mindsets, or just the habits trained by a life of Sin. In the end, we must actively, daily, choose to put away the false idols and embrace Jesus as Lord.
Choose this Day: Serving Jesus has a cost that extends beyond our comfort. Submission to God invites a cosmic conflict into a disciple’s life as righteousness is never popular in pagan places. Without a preeminent devotion to Jesus, we can substitute a caricature of love with no truth in it, pretending that men’s plans and philosophies are from God. The truth is that each new day brings a new question with it that we will answer with submission or idolatry.
The decision to choose who we will serve is continually before us. We are constantly confronted with the opportunity to consider that “it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord.” The culture around us wants to dictate what is acceptable in every arena and bring definition from a fallen world rather than God’s Word. In the end, the answer to the question of “whom you will serve?” is the only answer that matters.
Are we willing to respond as Joshua did and say, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Will we yield our whole life; our future, marriage, family, career, house, money, and ministry to Him? To be clear, that is the call for men today. The demand is that we not embrace Jesus “and” some other idea or philosophy. We yield fully to Him, and He is in charge of our lives. Let us choose wisely.