“Serve only the Lord your God.” – Deuteronomy 13:4
Joshua’s Family Serves God
Joshua was born into slavery in Egypt. His world changed in ways that he never could have imagined. He witnessed the first passover, as well as, all the plagues, and let’s not forget the parting of the Red Sea. He ate manna and saw Moses bring down the Ten Commandments from Mt. Sinai. He was one of the men who spied out the promised land, and then wandered in the desert 40 years, only to lead Israel across the Jordan river to victory over Jericho. Amazing!!!
“You have seen everything the Lord your God has done for you during my lifetime.” (Joshua 23:3) Joshua was a mature man; he witnessed a new generation of Israelites living in peace and prosperity. He wanted to ensure the legacy of what the LORD had done for him, and the nation of Israel, was preserved and not forgotten.
Joshua called a meeting. He began to recount the love and promise of the Lord, beginning with Abraham’s relocation to Canaan and God’s promise of many descendants. He told how they ended up as slaves in Egypt and how God called Moses to a showdown with Pharaoh that ended in deliverance. I can almost picture Joshua in an outdated and worn uniform, sitting on his front porch rocker, re-telling the war stories of his experience. As he recalls the victories, he is sure to remind Israel that everything they had was because of God (Joshua 24:2-13). The nation of Israel gave their respect and attention to Joshua as he recalled the history that became more than just an old story – it became reality, when told from an eyewitness account.
Joshua’s story is more than just a history lesson.
He made the case for continued service to God. In response to what God had done for him, he called his people, his family, to action:
Serve Him with Everything You Have
Put Away the Idols (anything that consumes you, or takes your focus from GOD)
Serve Only God
Challenge: Joshua 24:13-15
“I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant. Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the river and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of 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”