Joshua lays it on the line to the people – are your loyalties with God or are they elsewhere? You need to choose and you need to choose now.
‘Delirious?’ was the name of a Christian rock band who did that very rare thing of crossing-over into the secular market. One of their songs, ‘Bliss', deals with the potential seduction of the rock and roll lifestyle. It must have been so tempting: private jets; world tours; listening to your own songs in Pizza Hut. The song wrestles with the choices:
"Rock 'n roll is everything
Everything to a lonely man
And never will I bow to you
I'm not backing down"
Sooner or later we have to come to our own decision about who Jesus is. ‘Delirious?’ made theirs – "I won't change my mind on the choices I made". Just as Joshua demanded the ancient Israelites made their choice, we need to decide. Is Jesus who he says he is? If he is, am I ready to get on board?
Father, help us to make the right choice about You and about Your Son. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we have the courage and tenacity to live the life you desire for us. AMEN.
Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel; and they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors—Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods.
14 ‘Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.’
16 Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17 for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed; 18 and the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’