Joshua 24: Will You Follow God or Not?
Welcome to the final chapter of Joshua. In chapter 24, Joshua is giving his final speech to the people of Israel. He is quite candid with them and tells them exactly how their relationship with God ought to play out.
Jos 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Essentially, Joshua was saying that there are ultimately two choices. Either you can trust God who did and does all of this great stuff for you and brought you out of Egypt, or you can worship the new gods that your neighbors worship. It is impossible to do both simultaneously.
Joshua said that the choice was easy for his family. They would worship God. For them, there was no room for negotiation.
I think that in popular culture today it is pretty easy to get drawn into a trap of unbridled acceptance. Many people, even Christians at times, have fallen into some type of ideology that there are many paths that all lead to one God.
In theory, I agree that that sounds nice; it sounds very politically correct. After all, we don’t want to offend or debate with anyone. However, by taking the Bible as the standard of truth, I cannot draw any other conclusion than the one that Joshua expressed.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus did not say that I am just one of many possible ways. Using the word “the” implies exclusivity. This is really what the essence of Christianity comes down to. Either Jesus is everything that He says He is, and He was a perfect sacrifice with the power to atone for all of the sins of humanity for all time, or He wasn’t.
Clearly, you know where I stand on this issue. That might seem a little bit radical, but given the language that the Bible uses, it is calling us to make a choice between two absolutes. What side are you on?
If you want more information about following God, read this.