Choose you this day whom ye will serve. Joshua 24:15.
As Joshua felt the infirmities of age stealing upon him, and realized that his work must soon close, he was filled with anxiety for the future of his people. It was with more than a father’s interest that he addressed them, as they gathered once more about their aged chief….
By Joshua’s direction the ark had been brought from Shiloh. The occasion was one of great solemnity, and this symbol of God’s presence would deepen the impression he wished to make upon the people. After presenting the goodness of God toward Israel, he called upon them, in the name of Jehovah, to choose whom they would serve. The worship of idols was still to some extent secretly practiced, and Joshua endeavored now to bring them to a decision that should banish this sin from Israel…. Joshua desired to lead them to serve God, not by compulsion, but willingly….“As for me and my house,” said Joshua, “we will serve Jehovah.” The same holy zeal that inspired the leader’s heart was communicated to the people. His appeals called forth the unhesitating response, “God forbid that we should forsake Jehovah, to serve other gods.” …
Joshua endeavored to lead his hearers to weigh well their words, and refrain from vows which they would be unprepared to fulfill. With deep earnestness they repeated the declaration: “Nay; but we will serve the Lord.” Solemnly consenting to the witness against themselves that they had chosen Jehovah, they once more reiterated their pledge of loyalty: “The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey….”
Having written an account of this solemn transaction, he placed it, with the book of the law, in the side of the ark….
Joshua’s work for Israel was done. He had “wholly followed the Lord;” and in the book of God he is written, “The servant of Jehovah.” The noblest testimony to his character as a public leader is the history of the generation that had enjoyed his labors: “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua.
Conflict and Courage p. 125
—–Please pray for the family of the husband, wife, and three children who were killed by on I-80. Larry
—–Please pray that my niece will be returned home safely. Amber
—–We need God’s leading. L
—–A coworker, Trevor’s wife called to say that their children have been affected by the exterminator’s treatment of an adjoining apartment. They are very sick. Please pray that they will have no lasting problems because of this. Ron
One warm, sunny day, we went with Ron’s family to swim at a park at Baden Lake. It was a pleasant place. We laid down our blanket under a large tree, to get some shade. I stayed there with Esther Marie, who was barely a toddler at the time, and gave Ronnie Jay, who was not much older, careful instructions on the dangers of going out over his head when he couldn’t swim. He promised that he would stay at the water’s edge. We gave him a plastic float to play with and he joyfully ran to play in the warm water. Ron and his family walked out on a raised, but submerged pathway to an old piling. They enjoyed diving from that cement piling that was reminiscent of some long ago bridge.
As Ronnie Jay played in the shallow water, he held on tightly to his little plastic float. He became more and more confident and began getting farther and farther from the shoreline. I called to him and he came back…..for a while. Then, while I was busy with Esther Marie, he saw his chance to explore. He had seen his father and the others diving and splashing and having a fun time. He didn’t think that it was a bit fair that he was stuck at the water’s edge. Gripping his float, he waded out into the water at the very spot where he had seen Ron go.
For a few yards, all was well. Then, suddenly Ronnie Jay stepped off from the submerged walkway. Down he went. The water was way over his head. He didn’t struggle: he just disappeared. About that time, I looked up. No Ronnie Jay. Finally I saw his float, but I couldn’t see him. No, there he was. I could see one little hand still gripping that float tightly.
I shouted for Ron and headed toward the water. Ron got to him before I could and before long, our son was back on dry ground. Never again did Ronnie Jay try to go out into deep water. From that moment, he was content to play at the water’s edge. In fact, even though today he is an adult, he still does not enjoy the water.
Many times we have an experience as did Ronnie Jay: we find ourselves submerged in our sins. We feel as did David when he said, “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.” “My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.” Ps 38:4, 55:5 We can feel the spiritual life fading from us, yet, we cannot rise above the waters of sin. How much we need a Saviour! How much we long to be lifted up above the overwhelming flood.
Praise God, He has provided the way of escape! “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Isa 38:17 Our Great Creator could not enjoy the glories of Heaven, while we were ensnared in the devil’s traps. He left His Glorious Kingdom and came to this sinful planet “to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10 “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18
How foolish it would have been if Ronnie Jay had told his father that he was happy drowning under the water and did not want to be rescued. So it is when we turn from our Only Helper to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. Our Loving Redeemer suffered untold agony that we might be saved. He pleads with us, “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11
Let us be filled with love and gratitude for His great sacrifice. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering” and turn away from sin. Heb 10:23 Let us share the good news of salvation with those around us, that they, too, may be rescued from the engulfing waters that surround them