March 17, 2023

Everyone Must Make Their Own Choice To Serve God!


TEXT : Jos 24:14  Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. Jos 24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
As we finish the Book of Joshua, we read a brief history of Israel's past, and exhortation toward the future. Chiefly, we see Joshua tell the nation it is up to them to decide whom they will serve. Either they will serve the One True God, or they will serve the gods of the nations they have just cast out. However, the main thought is everyone must make his or her own choice. All of us, as free moral agents, must choose for his or herself. No one can do that for you. It is your choice.
Albert Barnes says -
"Service of God in sincerity and truth can only result from a free and willing allegiance of the heart. This accordingly is what Joshua invites, as Moses had done before him (Deu_30:15)."
Adam Clarke agrees saying -
"Joshua well knew that all service that was not free and voluntary could be only deceit and hypocrisy, and that God loveth a cheerful giver. He therefore calls upon the people to make their choice, for God himself would not force them - they must serve him with all their heart if they served him at all."
Matthew Henry elaborates on this by stating -
"It is essential that the service of God's people be performed with a willing mind. For LOVE is the only genuine principle whence all acceptable service of God can spring. The Father seeks only such to worship him, as worship him in spirit and in truth. The carnal mind of man is enmity against God, therefore, is not capable of such spiritual worship. Hence the necessity of being born again. But numbers rest in mere forms, as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice; but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid plainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did. Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream."
The truth is only you can make up your own mind whom you will serve. The nearest friend or the dearest relative cannot do that for you. It is a personal decision that is strictly between a man or woman and God. To be a disciple of Christ you must be willing to obey and implement the instructions He gives, which means facing resistance from men, devils, and our own sinful inclinations. As we accept Chr ist as our Lord, we must put away the gods of this world and go against the philosophies, affections, lusts, ambitions, and pride of those who have chosen to serve someone or something other than Jesus. As Matthew Henry said - "Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream."
Joshua makes it clear whom He will serve. This, as we have read, has always been his choice. From the time we first meet Joshua as the servant of Moses, we see a man whose heart is fixed on the Lord. He never deviates, fluctuates, or vacillates. He is intent on finishing as well as he started. He will serve the Lord - no matter what! He also states "his house" where he is the head, even as all men are the priest of their homes [See Ephesian chapter 5 below[1]], will be a God fearing home. Though the time would come for his "house" to make up their own minds whom to serve, while he was alive all who were under his roof would respect and honor God.
Therefore, he faces death with the same confidence as he faced life. His complete faith in God is  an inspiration to us as Christians since he suffered for forty years because of the sins of others - not his own, but still conquers the enemy in t he end. More than that, though Joshua wandered through the desert, as did Caleb, he nevertheless obtains the inheritance.
It is interesting how Joshua is the Hebrew name for our Savior, whose Greek name is "Jesus." However, our Lord - "Jesus" actual surname is "Joshua." It means - "Jehovah the Saviour." Moreover, the Old Testament Joshua is a type of [our] Christ as Easton's Bible Dictionary points out.
"Joshua has been regarded as a type of Christ (Heb_4:8) in the following particulars:
(1.) In the name common to both;
(2.) Joshua brings the people into the possession of the Promi sed Land, as Jesus brings his people to the heavenly Canaan; and
(3.) as Joshua succeeded Moses, so the Gospel succeeds the Law."
Thus, our goal must be as Joshua's was - to finish well. We must have a resolve that no matter what or who may come against us, we will not deny Christ. It is a personal choice. Each of us must make up our own minds.
John Darby comments on the decision of the people who agreed with Joshua.
"Finally, Joshua sets the people, in the way of warning, under a curse, or under a blessing, according to their obedience or disobedience; and then recapitulates their history, telling them that their fathers had been idolaters, and that the people around them were so still. But the people, not having yet lost the sense of the power of God who had blessed them, declare that they will serve Jehovah alone. They are thus placed under responsibility, and undertake to obey, as the condition of their possessing the land and enjoying the fruit of God's promise. They are left there, it is true, in peaceable possession of it all, but under the condition of obedience after having already allowed those, who should have been utterly destroyed, to remain in the land; and when, from the outset, they had not at all realised that which God had given them. What a picture of the assembly ever since the days of the apostles!"
Let us ALL serve Christ with a whole heart as the people of Israel did when they decided to join Joshua in his decision. Our "Joshua" [Jesus] has given us an example to follow. Let each of us make up our minds to serve Him until His Kingdom comes and we possess the land forever and ever!

  • [1] Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, Eph 5:27  That he migh t present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
© 2023 Time For Truth Ministries | (518) 843-2121