September 24, 2015
READ: Joshua 24:1-24
So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. . . . Serve the LORD alone (v.14).
Author Nancy Leigh DeMoss writes, “It’s bad enough for me to make choices that hurt my own relationship with God. How much more serious is it to be the cause of someone else deciding to sin? . . . I choose the pathway of holiness for God’s sake and for my own sake.”
Having led the Israelites into the Promised Land, and knowing that he would soon die, Joshua gathered the whole nation together to give them his final advice and choice (Joshua 24:1). The Jews were tempted to claim credit for the conquest of the land. So as God had Joshua share His words with the people, notice His repeated use of the personal pronoun “I”: “I took . . . I rescued you . . . I gave you victory . . . I gave you land . . . I gave you vineyards” (vv.3-13). God gave the Jews no reason to be proud, for He had done the heavy lifting to bring them into the Promised Land.
Then Joshua challenged the people to remain faithful to God. There were many false gods vying for their attention (vv.14-24). So he asked the Israelites to do two things: “Put away forever the idols” and “Fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. . . . Serve the LORD alone” (v.14). God was not to be their number one god among many; He was to be the only One they served! As Joshua said, “If you abandon the LORD and serve other gods, he will turn against you” (v.20).
Joshua understood that we need the One who made us and loves us. He also understood our human fickleness—we’re far too easily drawn to the idols around us.
365-day-plan: Luke 23:1-12
How will you respond to the choice Jesus offers you in Matthew 6:24?
What does it mean for you to “fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly”? How will you live out the command to “serve the LORD alone”? (Joshua 24:14).