CHOOSE – to select from a number of possibilities, to prefer or decide, to want; desire, to contend with or to decide. (dictionary.com)
Joshua 24:15 says,
“If it is unacceptable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24 takes place at the end of Joshua’s life. In this chapter Joshua gives one final speech to the people. He challenges them to make a decision or to choose what they are going to do with God once he is gone. He recounts for them once again all the miraculous things God has done to give them this land and all the commands He gave them which they must obey to retain it.
The Israelites had a history of following God and then turning away. When things were good for them, they forgot about God and turned away. Yet, when things got bad, they turned back to Him. So Joshua challenged them to either follow God, with all they have, or turn away completely. This so reminds me of myself! Don’t we all have a tendency to be just like the Israelites??
Once established in the Promised Land, the Israelites also were confronted with a multitude of choices. These choices were not always easy. They could worship the gods of Egypt, the gods that their parents had known. Or, they could worship the gods of the Amorites, the nation they had conquered. Joshua was not afraid to make the hard decision!
Choosing to serve the Lord is not always an easy decision. Sometimes it means going against the religious beliefs of your family. Other times peer pressure and the desire to “fit in” make us hesitant to declare openly our commitment to the Lord. Many people find it easiest to behave like a chameleon, changing colors to fit whatever group they happen to be with. But that only temporarily avoids making the hard decision.
Today, decide to take a stand. Whom will you serve? Will it be yourself? Will it be the gods of pleasure or wealth or ease? Or will you choose the God who loves you? Making a decision for Christ may be hard, but it’s a choice you will never regret. The easy choice is seldom the right choice.
Choice is a God given capacity that we must exercise constantly, continually every day. Every day we are confronted with choices of who and what we will serve.