Joshua 24:14-24, Common English Bible
Joshua is now quite old; and he has seen a lot in his lifetime. His early, formative years were spent in service to the great liberator, Moses, and his later years were spent leading God’s people into battle in the Promised Land. He has seen the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the trip through the desert to the edge of the Promised Land and then the trip back into the desert for 40 years of wilderness wanderings. He saw God part the Jordan River, crumble the walls of Jericho, and send the enemies into a panic. He also saw the punishment of Achan after his sin, and then the restoration of the blessing and presence of God.
He has led a full life, he has been strong and courageous as God commanded, he has the scars from a hundred battles, he has known the power and presence of God in his life and in his leadership, and now he recognizes his death is near.
Joshua challenges the people to be faithful!
Then Joshua said to the people, “You can’t serve the Lord, because he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won’t forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you leave the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn around and do you harm and finish you off, in spite of having done you good in the past.” Joshua 24:19-20
Call to commitment of all the people.
“So now, revere the Lord. Serve him honestly and faithfully. Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the Lord. But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
The people choose to be faithful.
The people said to Joshua, “No! The Lord is the one we will serve.” So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.” The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and will obey him.” Joshua 24:21-22, 24
Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom,
“Faithfulness is our choice to serve the Lord!”