“Then Joshua said to all the people, ‘If you will not serve the Lord, choose today whom you wish to serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are now living. As for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

Joshua 24:1–18

Joshua is putting a choice before the people of Israel. He knows that they have not been faithful to the Lord. He knows that Israel has chosen to serve other gods at times in its history. But he is trying to get the Israelites to make a definitive choice for God – to reject any previous unfaithfulness. Eventually, they choose to serve the God of Israel, choosing to maintain a covenantal relationship with him. 

It is this definitive choice for God that will go on to form Israel as a people. Their very self-definition will be tied to God – they know who they are because of the God they serve. This choice will be fundamental for them. God will shape their laws. What they eat and where they travel will be determined by him. Their faith will colour their cultural identity. 

Taking into account how important the choice for God in our lives can be, we can pause today to reflect on our own identities. Does the relationship we have with God really impact the way we live? Does our faith constitute a foundation for our self-identity? Should we discover areas of our lives that may not be wholly dedicated to God, we can look to Joshua’s invitation as an invitation to ourselves.

Each day is a new opportunity to more deeply choose God and make him into the foundation for our lives.

Loving God,

You are always calling us into a deeper relationship with you. Give us the grace to know what part of our lives is not wholly dedicated to you and the courage to let you shape our identity.

Amen.

 
Rev. Grant Tungay SJ

Fr Grant Tungay SJ is a lawyer by training, he left a career in law to join the Jesuits. He specialised in human rights law and has done volunteer work at the SA Human Rights Commission and also worked as an intern for the Centre of Applied Legal Studies at WITS. He worked at the Jesuit Institute South Africa for a few years in the area of social justice and is interested in the overlap between law, social justice and spirituality.

g.tungay@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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