Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region 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. Joshua 24:15
With feet planted firmly in the land of Canaan—the land that God had promised to Abraham’s descendants generations earlier—it was time for the Israelites to decide. As a people, they had finally received the promise that had been the unrealized dream of so many of their forefathers and mothers. God had done all that God had promised to do. It had taken far longer than anyone could have imagined, but the Israelites had the promised land in their possession. The question was now at hand: who would they follow, and would they choose to remember from whom all their blessings had come? Would they follow the Lord who had been faithful to them throughout the generations, or would they begin to worship the gods of the land they had inherited?
It is a sad reality, but once the excitement and novelty of God’s provision wears off, we often go back to old and less-than-inspired ways of living. God does something amazing in our lives, we swear we will never forget the blessing, and we promise that our lives will be lived better in response to God’s gift . . . but time passes and our passions for holy living and faithful remembrance begin to fade. We stand in our own promised land, forgetting all that God has done to get us to where we are. Joshua told the Israelites that they would be naturally inclined to forget about God and would begin to worship lifeless idols. But Joshua swore that his family would never forget and that they would forever serve the Lord. It is a decision we all have before us each and every day—will we serve our own interests and worship every idol that attracts our eye? Or will we stand with, and serve, the God who has faithfully brought us forth into the life we now lead?
Who will you serve this day?
Lord, why do I so easily forget the many times You have saved my skin? I can scoff at the Israelites for forgetting how You led them out of Egypt. I can act astonished that they would not remember You leading them through the Red Sea. I can shake my head and wag my finger disapprovingly at the Israelites who ignored how You fed them for forty years in the desert. What halts my condemnation is the realization that I am no different from them. I forget. I become distracted. I am devoted to a thousand things other than You. O, how I long to possess the resolve of Joshua! Lord, I want to serve You, and I want my family to do the same. I have decided in favor of You, I just need Your help to follow through on my intentions. For this I pray, in Jesus’ name. AMEN.