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We will serve the Lord

So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” The people replied, “We would never abandon the Lord and serve other gods. For the Lord our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes. As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us. It was the Lord who drove out the Amorites and the other nations living here in the land. So we, too, will serve the Lord, for he alone is our God.” Joshua 24:14-18 NLT

Joshua meticulously cited Israel’s history where God has proven His faithfulness to them. After this, he now challenged them to forsake worshiping idols. There could be no neutrality. Commitment has to be made before God because of their past track record of worshiping other gods. Just right after the Exodus experience, there were still those that are worshiping the gods of Egypt. “I took a solemn oath that day that I would bring them out of Egypt to a land I had discovered and explored for them—a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the best of all lands anywhere. Then I said to them, ‘Each of you, get rid of the vile images you are so obsessed with. Do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt, for I am the Lord your God.’ “But they rebelled against me and would not listen. They did not get rid of the vile images they were obsessed with, or forsake the idols of Egypt” (Ezekiel 20:6-8). Jacob also warned his family to forsake idolatry. “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing” (Genesis 35:2). This is also the admonition Samuel gave in his time. “If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the Lord and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines” (1 Samuel 7:3). Joshua being a leader and a wise man called out the Israelites to follow his example of worshiping Yahweh alone. Whether we like it or not, we will be worshiping something or someone. This is the same thing with the rest of our family members. Joshua was right to call the attention of the Israelites not to forget their history where they experienced God at work in their lives. Once we tear down history by forgetting the past, we start to leave a void and that void is ripe to be filled with false belief and teachings. If we are not worshiping the One true God of the Bible, we are going to worship a false god.



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