It’s Time to Make a Choice
Joshua 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.
Intro: It is imperative that we understand who is doing the talking, and understand who he is talking to.
A. Joshua – the Communing Man
This is Joshua speaking. He is one of the two good spies that wanted to cross Jordan and enter into Canaan land over 40 years prior. But Joshua had determined to walk with God at a much earlier stage.
- Exodus 33:10, 11 And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
NOTE: There was something special about Joshua. Nobody had to pump and prime him to seek after God.
His pastor wasn’t trying to talk him into it!
His parents weren’t drilling it into him all day every day.
Joshua saw that God could interact with man face to face, and he wanted that for himself!
It is rare today to find a man that is willing to linger with God longer than the man of God.
B. Joshua – the Confident Man
Out of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the land, only 2 came back with positive reports.
Numbers 13, 14
- Numbers 14:6:6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
C. Joshua – the Consecrated Man
- Numbers 27:15 And Moses spake unto the LORD, saying, Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the LORD be not as sheep which have no shepherd. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;
Because of Joshua’s walk with God, Moses under the leadership of God made him the next leader of the congregation.
D. Joshua – the Conquering Man
Turn to Joshua 12:7-24 – there were a total of 31 kings that Joshua smote.
Joshua actually had a part in conquering the kings that Moses conquered from verse 1 – 8.
After Moses died, Joshua continued, even abounded in the conquering of kings.
Joshua was a man that had the courage and the fight to remove any kings in his life that didn’t belong.
He was willing to attack and conquer any king that was sitting on the thrones of HIS INHERITANCE.
God had given that land to HIM and to his people, and he wanted only God to sit on the throne!
E. Joshua – the Concerned Man
In this passage, Joshua is preaching his last message. He is not making a choice; he is trying to get everybody else to make the choice he made years ago.
No doubt, as a leader he had see so much indecision that his last message was a review of God’s work and their need to make a choice.
When he got old, he still had a long way to go to fully inhabit the land.
- Joshua 13:1 Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.
Joshua’s last message was a simple one – IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO MAKE A CHOICE!
I. The Choice is Urgent – it needs to be made today! – choose you this day whom ye will serve
A. It is urgent because Death is certain.
- James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
B. It is urgent because the Rapture is certain.
- Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ will return one day for His church.
That day could be today. It could be tomorrow.
- 1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
C. It is urgent because Judgment Day is certain.
- Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Illustration: Lincoln used to tell the story of a man who heated a piece of iron in the forge, not knowing just what he was going to make out of it. At first he thought he would make a horseshoe; then he changed his mind and thought he would make something else out of it. After he had hammered on this plan for a little while, he changed his mind and started on something else. By this time, he had so hammered the iron that it was not good for much of anything; and, holding it up with his tongs and looking at it in disgust, the blacksmith thrust it hissing into a tub of water. “Well, at least I can make a fizzle out of it!” he exclaimed.
There’s a lot of Christians that spend their life messing around, undecided about what to do with the life that God has given them and will one day stand before God at the Judgment Seat and watch their whole existence summarized as a “fizzle”.
II. The Choice might be Unpopular
- And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD …whether the gods which your fathers served or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell
Joshua realized that seeking an intimate relationship with God might seen evil to some people.
- Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
There is no doubt that a choice to go with God will put you at odds with everybody around you.
You may face rejection from your co-workers, your friends, your neighbors, your closest relatives.
TURN TO Matthew 10:32-38
- 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
- 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
- 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
- 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
- 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
- 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
- 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Illustration: Former president Ronald Reagan once had an aunt who took him to a cobbler for a pair of new shoes. The cobbler asked young Reagan, “Do you want square toes or round toes?” Unable to decide, Reagan didn’t answer, so the cobbler gave him a few days. Several days later the cobbler saw Reagan on the street and asked him again what kind of toes he wanted on his shoes. Reagan still couldn’t decide, so the shoemaker replied, “Well, come by in a couple of days. Your shoes will be ready.” When the future president did so, he found one square-toed and one round-toed shoe! “This will teach you to never let people make decisions for you,” the cobbler said to his indecisive customer. “I learned right then and there,” Reagan said later, “if you don’t make your own decisions, someone else will.”
There are a lot of Christians that will let their family, their co-workers, their employers, their government, their spouse, their children, their grand-children, their friends make the decision for them.
They will cave in under the pressure and think it evil to serve the Lord.
Joshua realized that some might think it evil because of the beliefs of their fathers.
Some might think it evil because of the beliefs of those in whose land ye dwell.
Your choice to serve God might put you at odds with everybody you know.
QUESTION: Do you want to serve their ‘gods’, or the one true God?
Joshua had chosen to serve a God that could speak face to face with him, like a friend. (Ex. 33:10, 11)
Those false gods had never done anything for him.
His life had been changed by the One True God – and pleasing everybody else wasn’t an option.
He and Caleb had been willing to stand against the other 10 spies because of their faith in God.
III. The Choice should be Unwavering – but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
The choice is to serve self or to serve the Lord.
Joshua didn’t say:
- I will try to serve the Lord.
- I want to serve the Lord.
- I will think about serving the Lord.
- I will wait and see about serving the Lord.
- I used to serve the Lord but some things happened.
- I really would like to serve the Lord, but my family doesn’t think we should.
Joshua, at 110 said, AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD!
God give us a group of men that will have the walk with God that Joshua had.