Who Will You Serve?
And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and olive yards which ye planted not do ye eat. 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. 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. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the Lord drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God.
We have what we have because it has been given to us by the Lord. Everything that we have was God’s to begin with. He has entrusted us to care for His things and to enjoy them. Everything that is good comes from the hand of God. God is good. He causes His rain to fall on the righteous as well as the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45). It does not matter if you believe in Him or not, obey Him or not, what you have comes from God. Just as He gave His people Israel houses that they did not build and vineyards that they did not plant, He has given us things that we did not have to work for. God is a loving and caring God. He wants all people to have good things and live good lives. If you agree these things are true, then why won’t you serve Him?
The Hebrew word for “serve” is abad which occurs 16 times in Joshua 24. Joshua was urging the people to serve God and God alone. Here is where a lot of people struggle. They say they love God; they say they trust God; they say they serve God, but the reality is they put their love, faith, and trust in money. When it comes down to it, they believe that the money they have will save them from any and every thing. Money comes and goes. Money is here today and gone tomorrow. A person’s wealth can leave them in a matter of seconds. How, one might ask? Think about the Great Depression and when the Stock Market crashed. Very wealthy people turned dirt poor in a matter of minutes. This was such a hardship for them, because they put their trust in money, that they were jumping out of windows, hanging themselves, all kinds of suicide left and right. Their god had fallen and they had no hope. The Bible tells us that we can’t serve God and money. It tells us that we will hold to the one and not the other (Matthew 6:24). Wouldn’t you agree that the suicide victims during the crash were exactly what Matthew 6:24 says? They held to their money, or, in other words, put all their faith and trust in their wealth.
In Joshua 24:13-18, he was pleading with the people, reminding them of all the good gifts that came from God and was presenting them with a choice to make. They could either choose the gods of their ancestors, the gods of the region, or the One, True God. That’s the decision I want to bring you to today. Are you going to serve God or something else, such as money? With God, there is no in between; there’s no grey area; it’s either black or white, in or out. Either you serve Him or you don’t. Either you obey Him or you don’t. Either you accept Him or you don’t. If you accept Him and you love Him then you must be obedient to His word. 1 John 2:4 says, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”
If you choose to serve Him, then, just like Joshua, you must lead by example. In this way, your action will lead your family (your house) into the Lord’s service. You may be able to boldly say to others, “I don’t know what you are going to do, but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Who or what will you serve? The choice is yours to make and a need for a decision is urgent. Tomorrow may be too late. Today is the day of redemption. Will you serve God? I pray that you will. God bless you!