Day 68: Joshua 22-24; Choose Whom You Will Serve

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

These are some of the famous last words of Joshua.  Like Moses, as he is preparing to die, he calls the people of Israel together and they rehash the covenant again.  The people of Israel are reminded of all the great deeds of the Lord, of who they are and whose they are.  They are reminded that they came from one man who was called out of a distant land.  They are reminded that all that they are and all that they have become is not because of them, but because of God… only because of God.

This particular passage rings with the overtones of election, of predestination, and echos of the adoption.  It is, as you have probably guessed already, a foreshadowing… the whole covenant is a foreshadowing because it is fulfilled in Christ.  Joshua says in effect, “you are God’s people because God chose you, guided you, protected you, sustained you, walked with you, fought for you, and now has given you peace.  You have scene the work of the Lord, and you have seen the other gods around you.  So choose this day whom you will serve.”

Joshua also reiterates the notion of the blessings and curses of following or not following the covenant.  The people say “we will follow God.”  Joshua replies that your profession here is a witness against yourselves.  I wonder if this isn’t part of why we have the practice of profession of faith.  Does that too serve as a public witness against us, that we have publicly chosen to follow God?  I don’t necessarily know that there is a correlation there, but it seems pretty strong.

As we ended yesterday, so we will end again today.  God has been faithful.  The first 6 books of the Old Testament are, at the very least, a testament to the nature of the character of God and His abundant faithfulness and providence.  All of what has happened to the people of Israel since the very beginning has been ordained and directed by God Himself.  Whether it be sustenance during a time of famine, protection in the wilderness, the powers against the Egyptian gods, the giving of the Law, or the conquest of a people much larger and stronger than them in Canaan, all of this has happened because of God.  If there is a life lesson here, it is that nothing happens apart from the knowledge and sustaining power of the Father.  He has ordained our days from beginning to end and He will watch over us and work His will in our lives each and every day.  We have seen it and continue to see it.  So the question for us is the same:

WHOM WILL YOU SERVE?


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