Joshua 24:14-15 NIV
14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
In verse 14, Joshua is calling up the Israelites to make some radical changes in their lives and put away the gods that their fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt. The Israelites, if they were to serve the Lord, needed to stop serving idols and put their faith in the Lord.
In verse 15, Joshua tells the listeners they can make up their own minds and worship whatever god they desire. God has always been a God of free will. God has never been One to force people to do right. Even back in the Garden of Eden, God placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to give Adam and Eve a choice. From whence comes sin? Is it not my own desires? God plays no role in the tempting process, but it’s our own desires, our own will, that leads to sin.
At the end of the passage, Joshua announces to the Israelite, by promising to serve the Lord himself before he pledges to lead his family. Joshua cannot lead his family in doing what’s right unless he himself is doing what’s right. This important principle reminds of that in order to lead others righteously, we ourselves must be right before God.
How many times do we “act” based on what we are told or see? If you stop and think about it, we all have done this at some point in time. In today’s world of information overload, commercials, news, email, text, images, etc., we seem to take these little things that ultimately affect our life and put them before anything else. Anything that takes first place in our lives, above God, has become an ‘Idol’. These things may not be wrong in themselves, but if it has become all-consuming it can be like an idol. As Joshua says here, we need to rid ourselves of these. We should fear God and serve Him only. God does not want to share the throne of our hearts with anything else.
Go serve the Lord. Put him first in your life and in your home. We can all start with a prayer and see how He will change you and your world.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for all that You have done for us. Thank You that You have loved us with an everlasting love, even when we are lost in our sins. Thank You that You have saved me by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and Savior. I desire to walk in spirit and truth to Your praise and glory. I pray that more people might say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” We pray in Jesus’ name … Amen.