Joshua was used by God to bring God’s people out of the wilderness into their own land. Once the Israelites had procured the Promised Land, Joshua delivers a final word of instruction. In light of all that Israel has experienced, Joshua challenged Israel to determine if they would follow Yahweh exclusively (Josh 24:14-15).
At this pivotal moment in their history, Joshua decided to lead the nation no longer as a fearless commander facing Israel’s international problems but as a bold preacher combating Israel’s spiritual problems. Before he presented the ultimatum, Joshua appealed to God’s work in the past among the Israelites. As Joshua relived Israel’s history (Josh 24:3-13), he quoted Yahweh’s voice and reminded the people that every victorious battle was due to Yahweh’s intervention and not the Israelites’ strength.
In Joshua 24:14-28, we see one of the greatest moments of drawing the line in the sand and demanding people to choose a side..
Just like the Israelites, it is time for us to make up our minds. Will we serve God, or will we serve some other god that has secured our attention?
Joshua could lead an entire army into a national battle, but he could not lead every family into the battle at home. That responsibility was left up to every father.
In each home, the father would go to war and decide which way he would fight. Joshua drew the line in the sand. As far as his family was concerned, he had make up his mind. With every ounce of his being, he would lead his family to serve the Lord. He would relentlessly chase off any other god lingering in his home. There was only one God worthy of taking up lordship in his home and that was Yahweh.
What about you? Have you made up your mind? Have you decided which god will be Lord in your home? It is interesting to note that the Israelites originally said that they would serve the Lord, and Joshua lashed back at them: “You will not be able to worship the LORD, because He is a holy God” (Josh. 24:19). Joshua had been around this people long enough to know that their passionate resolutions one minute could turn into rebellious wanderings that could last for years.
And just like the Israelites, we can make verbal commitments. We can set it in our minds concerning our direction. In reality, only strong men of God will still be standing in the years to come still proclaiming the same promise: “As for me and my family, we will worship the LORD” (Josh. 24:15).