Study from God’s Word… Josh 22: 1 – 34; Josh 23: 1 – 16; Josh 24: 1 - 28; … Passage for Reflection: Joshua 24: 15 … NIV 15 “ … But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond 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."
My Journal for Today: Today’s highlight verse is an oft quoted exhortation from Joshua to God’s people, taken from the third address he made to three separate segments of the Hebrew tribes late in his life. Part of these addresses involves Joshua quoting God as a Prophet; but some of what he said was his own words, as were these when he stated exactly what the chosen people of God would face in their future.
And Joshua could be addressing you and me with what he said to the Israelites, because we certainly have a choice as to whom we serve; … don’t we? We can serve our spiritual enemies, … Satan, the world, or our own flesh; and unfortunately just like God’s ancient peoples, that’s exactly what we often do. Now, having been one of those pagans who denied God at one point in my own life, I can almost excuse a lost person for their choices. They choose Satan or selfishness or worldly idols above God because they simply don’t believe God exists. Would we really expect the lost to make Godly choices when they don’t even believe that the God of Abraham is there for them? BUT … and this is an enormous “but” … what about those of us who do believe in the God of the Old and New Covenants? What about our choices?
How can I excuse myself when I do believe that God delivered His people from Egypt; and I do believe that God, the Father, did send His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross to pay for my sins? And I do believe that I will spend eternity with Jesus, having God, the Spirit, in my heart to seal my eternal future. So, believing all of this, why do I still make unGodly choices?
And Dr. Smith this morning nails our problem as he writes that our big challenge today is the choice to have choices, which so often takes precedence over the one choice to serve God. We live today in a culture which demands choices. We are captivated by the need to have many choices in any situation. When we go to a restaurant, we want to be able to choose from many tasty choices. When we go to select a car, we want to be able to satisfy our need for speed and selectivity by having many vehicles from which we can choose. Our “god” has become the god of many choices rather than what Joshua charged God’s people toward; and that is to have ONE choice which leads us to make all other choices; and that choice is the One True God, … the God Who wants to lead us into making any choice as we desire to serve Him and glorify Him with our choices.
As Smith so aptly puts it, ”Correctly understood, our reverence for choice has so much to do with satisfying our own desires that the lesser god we end up worshiping is self!” We can be pro-choice or pro-life; but above all we desire to have a choice to be one or the other. When, in point of truth, we are pro-God, our choices become His choices and we will live as Jesus Himself instructed His disciples to live, (see Luke 9: 23), … “to deny self … and to follow [Him].”
So, my dear one, what is your choice?
My Prayer for Today: Lord, I choose You!!! Amen