We Will Serve The Lord Joshua 24:15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Our homes are in serious danger of moral and spiritual collapse in these perilous times. How can we stem the tide of apostasy that is taking churches and families out to sea? One thing we must do is choose whom we are going to serve. We must choose to serve the Lord.
Before his death, Joshua charged Israel to choose whom they would serve. He made the case for serving the Lord by recounting everything that the Lord had already done for them. See Joshua 24:2-13.
Hasn’t the Lord done great things for you? He’s given you eternal life. He’s forgiven you all of your sins. He’s made you free from some terrible sins and consequences of sin that held you in bondage. He’s renewed your mind, pulled down some strong holds, cast down your wicked imaginations and brought your thoughts to the obedience of Jesus Christ. He’s promised you an inheritance in heaven. And he has given you the Holy Spirit, his righteousness and the pure words of God to guide you daily and to bear everlasting fruit in your life. These are just a few of the great things the Lord has done for you.
Joshua stated unequivocally that he and his house would serve the Lord. How about you and your house? If you and your house are going to serve the Lord, you must:
Fear the Lord – Jos 24:14 – the Jews didn’t fear God. They feared him when they heard him speak at Horeb [Ex 19:16; Heb 12:18-21]. They were trembling. But after God started talking to them through Moses, they quit fearing God.
God gave his printed words and his preachers to talk with you and you don’t tremble [Is 66:5; Phil 2:12-13]. Joshua said, “Ye cannot serve the Lord; for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins,” [Jos 24:19]. And they didn’t fear him. It’s like Paul said, “There is no fear of God before their eyes,” [Rom 3:18].
Now, unlike the Jews in Joshua’s day, the Lord has forgiven our transgressions and sins. So, instead of fearing God more, like we should, we fear him even less than these Jews who didn’t fear him. You cannot sincerely serve the Lord without fearing him. David said, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling,” [Ps 2:11].
Your children are supposed to fear you [Lev 19:3]. How will they ever do that if you don’t fear the Lord? Joshua said, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!! Unless you fear God, you never will choose, for the rest of your life, to serve the Lord.
Serve him in sincerity and truth – Jos 24:14 – sincerity is “honesty of mind: freedom from hypocrisy.” I have seen today a lack of sincerity in Christians. They are not honest with God; they are not honest with others; they are not honest with themselves before God. They are hypocrites. You must be absolutely honest with God. You must hear his truth and respond to him according to his truth.
I’m corresponding with a young man and I am refreshed by his honesty. His life is a mess right now, but he is absolutely honest about it. When he struggles he tells me he is struggling. The Lord gives me a verse to encourage, reprove or instruct him. And he follows what God says. His preacher will often preach on the very thing he’s struggling with, as if he were the only one in church that day. And little by little, following the light of God’s words, he is growing.
What God is doing for him is just like what God did for Israel. He got them out of Egypt, he wiped out their enemies who came after them, he fed them with manna, he got them to the promised land and then he defeated the inhabitants of the land and gave it to Israel.
I’m corresponding with another young man and he is a hypocrite. He is not honest with God, he doesn’t follow the counsel of God’s words and he is self-willed. Yet, when I visit with him, he talks like he wants to serve the Lord even more than the other young man I’m helping. He’s just saying what he thinks I want to hear. He’s just like these Jews who said, “God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods,” [Jos 24:16].
Listen, until you are daily in God’s words and following what God shows you to do in his words, you will not be serving him. You’ll just be talking and acting like you do. You’re not sincere.
Put away the gods – Jos 24:14, 23 – you see, making the choice to serve God is not a mere profession. It’s not a choice that is made by just coming to this altar and saying, “Lord, I choose to serve you.” The Jews who heard Joshua did that. They said, “God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods,” [Jos 24:16]. They said, “”… therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God,” [Jos 24:18]. Oh, man. They had a great profession. But, as you know, talk is cheap.
There was problem. Joshua told them to “put away… the strange gods,” [Jos 24:23]. They replied to his command with this profession, “The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey,” [Jos 24:24]. How committed they were. But they never put away the gods. They ignored his command. So, after Joshua died “they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them,” [Jud 2:12].
Joshua had been traveling with these guys for 40 years. He knew them better than they knew themselves. He knew they had strange gods. And he knew that if they didn’t get rid of those gods, they would be a snare to them [Jud 2:3]. Sure enough, “they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtoreth,” [Jud 2:13].
You know why it’s so hard for you and your family to serve the Lord? You won’t put away your gods. It’s not enough to say that you will serve the Lord. You must put away your gods. You say, “We don’t have any strange gods.” You are not being sincere and truthful with God. Christians hide their gods like Rachel hid her father’s gods in the camel’s furniture [Gen 31:34]. Christians “set up their idols in their heart,” [Ezek 14:3].
Choose whom you will serve – Jos 24:15 – this is not a choice you make from day to day; where today you serve him and tomorrow you don’t. This is a choice you make “this day.” You make your choice and then you stick with it.
You have three choices. You can serve the gods that you served before you were saved, “the gods which your fathers served.” That’s like going back and still messing with those sins that you did before you were saved. That’s like putting your family’s demands above the Lord’s. You won’t let them go.
Or you can serve the gods that Christians serve, “the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell.” You know there are Christian gods. These are things that you aren’t supposed to do but you justify doing because other Christians do them. These include your music, your movies, your social media, your entertainment, your web browsing and so forth.
Or you can just serve “the Lord.” You can do what he wants you to do. You can please him.
Joshua made his choice a long time ago. In Num 32:11-12 the thing that distinguished him and Caleb from the rest of the men in Israel was that they “wholly followed the Lord.” Joshua had made his choice. Ten spies and all the tribes of Israel couldn’t convince him to change his mind. And Joshua never stopped following the Lord. He made his choice and stuck with it.
Conclusion: You must make a choice. If you haven’t already made the choice to serve the Lord, you must make it someday. A preacher said that in his church they had a Someday Sunday. People had been telling them, “I’ll come there someday.” So, they had the “someday” Sunday. Why don’t you make your “someday” choice “today?” Fear God, serve him in sincerity and truth, put away your strange gods, and “choose you this day whom ye will serve.”