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Message of the Day: Sincere Service Can Only Result From Free and Willing Commitment To God

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.” (Joshua 24:15, NKJV)

Just as the people of Israel had once gone to Shechem to declare their loyalty to the Covenant (Joshua 8:30-35), so now the leaders, on behalf of the people, returned to Shechem to make a fresh declaration of loyalty. The covenant had originated with God, who brought Abraham from Mesopotamia into Canaan and promised to make from him a nation that would one day possess Canaan as its homeland.

Centuries later God fulfilled that promise when he brought Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and finally into Canaan. Sadly, the Israelites had demonstrated a tendency towards idolatry, whether the idolatry of Abraham’s ancestors, of the Egyptians, or of the Canaanites. Therefore, they had to make a firm decision whether they were going to serve one of these gods or serve the true God, Yahweh.

Joshua well knew that all service that was not free and voluntary could be only deceit and hypocrisy. Service of God in sincerity and truth can only result from a free and willing allegiance of the heart. He therefore calls upon the people to make their choice, for God himself would not force them. As for himself and his family, he shows them that their choice was already fixed, for they had taken the Lord for their portion.

The people readily declared that they would serve Yahweh alone. Joshua knew that to declare loyalty was easy, but to maintain it was not so easy. He therefore reminded the people of the terrible consequences if they broke their covenant with such a holy God. When the people swore that they knew what they were doing, Joshua challenged them to put their professed loyalty into practice immediately. He then ceremonially sealed the renewed covenant, wrote the covenant laws in a book, and set up a stone as a memorial of the people’s promise to be loyal and obedient.

May we renew our commitment to worship and serve God and forsake everything that hinders us from doing so. May we, together with our families, enjoy the blessings of a free and willing devotion.

Sources:

MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.

Olive Tree Bible Software, 1998-2020.

http://www.biblegateway.com

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