“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.”
Tuesday, 24 August 2021
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.