Choose This Day Who You Will Serve – Joshua 23-24
Now it came to the time when Joshua was very old, and he called for all the elders of Israel, and he said to them “I am very old, and you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to the nations because of you; for the LORD your God has fought for you. I have divided these nations that remain for an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan river to the great sea in the west. And you shall possess the land that the LORD your God has promised to you. Therefore be very courageous to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, and do not turn aside. Do not come among (the people of) the nations that remain, or mention the name of their gods, or serve them, or bow yourselves to them. Cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. Take heed that you love the LORD your God. Know that if you have anything to do with the people of the nations that are before you, the LORD your God will not drive out any more of the nations, and they will be traps to you until you perish from this land which the LORD your God has given you.
This day I am going the way of all the earth (it is time for Joshua to die) and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that everything has come to pass and not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. Therefore it shall come to pass that as all good things are come to you, so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things when you have gone and served other gods..
Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in truth: put away the gods that your fathers served in Egypt and you serve the LORD. And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, you choose this day who you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
And the people answered “God forbid that we should forsake the LORD..for the LORD our God, brought us up out of the land of Egypt…and did great things in our sight, and preserved us in all the ways we went….therefore we also serve the LORD for he is our God.”
But Joshua said to them, “You cannot serve the LORD for he is a holy God, he is a jealous God, he will not forgive your sins. If you serve strange gods, then he will turn and hurt you, after all the good things he has done for you.” And the people said “No, but we will serve the LORD.” So Joshua said to the people, “you are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.” And they said “We are witnesses.”
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and he wrote the words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone and set it up under an oak tree. And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which he spoke to us, it shall therefore be a witness to you if you deny your God.” So Joshua let the people go back to the land they had inherited. And after that Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died being 110 years old. And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that lived after Joshua who had known all the works of the LORD that he had done for Israel.
Memory Verse: Joshua 24:15 “….choose you this day whom ye will serve;…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”
No questions or answers for this story, just a hope that the children will think upon the words of Joshua for the people of Israel to “choose this day whom you will serve” and upon Joshua’s choice “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”
Such an important choice for us too.. will we serve the things of the world? or will we serve the LORD.. Joshua was known as the “servant of the LORD” (Joshua 24:29). What a blessing it would be if the children would one day hear the same words about them “well done, good and faithful servant.”