(J. M. Sherwood, D. D.). I mean choose the God that has come near to you in the Saviour that has loved you and lived for you and died for you; and give your hearts up to Him to be cared for, to be blessed, and your spirits to Him to be cleansed, and to be saved; and then, yielding yourselves to Christ, you will have taken God for your portion. It is no doubt a strict and searching one. what says conscience? A. Standing as you do at the parting of the ways, get a clear notion of what you are aiming at, and do not let yourselves be moulded by mere accident; do not let yourselves be mere children of impulse; do not owe the shape of your lives to the pressure of circumstances; do not let yourselves be ruled by the moment’s inclination; do not be like the weeds in the stream, that move only as it flows. We can have no manner of security of the duty and fidelity of those of our family to us if they have no sense of religion, no fear of God before their eyes. Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Joshua 24:15 ← Back to Chuck Smith's Bio & Resources "THE CHOICE" I. They came to them from the Sunday school and the village pastor’s instructions; they came with the Bible which was to be the guide of their lives, with the prayer which had been the practice of their childhood, with the resolution which the last communion prompted and the mother’s parting words urged forward. 217, 231; Bishop Walsham How, Twenty-four Practical Sermons, p. 250; Sunday Magazine, 1877, p. 88; R. Heber, Parish Sermons, pp. Win the heart, and the victory is yours. We may infer from the text that no man can re obliged to embrace a religion that is evil, i.e., contrary to reason and the moral fitness of things; but, on the contrary, is bound to reject it. (Evan Lewis, B. Truth is beautiful though hated and hooted by the majority of men. I. I observe that religion is a voluntary thing and a matter of choice. Now, apply this test to yourselves. They now possess the land. Most important, too, is it that every family should be perpetually reminded that, as a family, it is a Christian family--that the Church is not God’s only house in the parish, but that every house in the parish ought to be a house of God. It is a link which, between a loving and wise parent and a Christian child, is never dissolved; and I know of no sight so pleasing as to see men and women, moving in life and filling important posts which God has assigned them, and yet with reverence and affection retaining the pious habits of childhood and youth--observing the wishes and ruling themselves by the guidance of an aged parent. Oh that we knew and remembered this--that nought unreal will ever stand God’s test of time and trial. The house of Joshua embraces all the faithful servants of the Lord. Every one is at liberty to decline God’s service just the same as he is to enter it; but to refuse is to choose. It describes the origin, the management, the sacred functions, of the family. There was not doubt in his mind what the choice would be for him and his family. There is a mortification of pride in the choice of God’s service which often seems evil. Now, it is our wish that this delusion, so sad and so fatal, under which you labour, should be broken before the day of retribution comes. Before I pass to the outward acts and fruits of family religion let me exemplify these remarks in two departments of the inner life of the household: in their use of the Bible and in family prayer. Said he, “I have not had ten happy days.” Lord Chesterfield declared, “I have been the whole round of pleasure, and I am disgusted; and for myself, I mean to sleep in my carriage for the rest of my journey.” Sinners, you think you are free; loaded with shackles, yet know it not. This accordingly is what Joshua invites, as Moses had done before him (Deuteronomy 30:15 ff). It is objected, that as, on the one hand, there may be danger of error in following blindly the belief of the Church, so, on the other hand, there is as great a danger of schism in forsaking the communion of the Church, upon pretence of errors and corruptions. And here at once let me say that such fruits ought always to be found. What I understand by obedience being the first duty of young persons to their parents is this--that, irrespective of all concurrence of their own individual approval with what is ordered, there is a sacredness about a parent’s word, because it is so, which ensures prompt and ready compliance. Biblical Commentary Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 THE CONTEXT: The last chapters (31-34) of Deuteronomy report the beginnings of the transfer of leadership from Moses to Joshua. 1. II. God has His great work for individuals to do. (1) Joshua speaks to the nation again, through its leaders. There is nothing either within or without you which need prevent your choosing the service of God. Robertson.). Joshua 24:15 – “As for me and my house...” Summary At the end of his life, Joshua addresses the people of Israel and charges them to serve the Lord rather than other gods. 2. When he got to Joshua 24:15, he stated, ‘“Choose this day” is a choice between false gods…. 4. He had served YHWH all his adult life and now at the end, he reaffirms his faith. The sooner men choose their moral master the better. If you consider all the more remarkable false religions that have been or are in the world, and all the corrupted systems of true religion, you shall find that they recommend themselves by one or other of these four privileges and characters--either antiquity or extent or ceremonious pomp, or an accommodation to the follies and vices of men. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. (Dean Alford.). It means many things, all of which must be wrought in us by Divine grace, or we shall never possess them, though we may have their counterfeits. Religion hath its difficulties relating both to faith and to practice, both to the understanding and to the heart. sense: or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye But there are no reserves in St. Paul’s question: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Whatever it may be, whatever the difficulties, whatever the consequences, I am ready. an example set for the Israelites to follow after; he full well “Their decision made up the number; the colonel’s heart was rejoiced. In many cases of every-day life, neutrality is not only lawful, but commendable. 3. But here, I think, you have the testimony of a witness every way competent. I want so many men.” “I’ll go!” “I’ll go! He said, “I am determined to be a Christian when I leave the service.” Ah! “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”; for if you do not embrace the existing opportunity of devoting your selves wholly and heartily to God, which is your reasonable and bounden service, another opportunity may never be afforded. They that are bound for heaven must be willing to swim against the stream, and must do, not as most do, but as the best do. It must have the whole man. For not only is there a contrast between the objects, but there is also a contrast between the results. He places a Moses upon the mount to bring down the Law. And opposite: what a rabble of bestial divinities! Without these powers they would be upon a level with brute creatures, and it is the right or wrong exercise of them that constitutes the moral good or evil of actions. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”; because the sooner that you enter on God’s service, in its full import, the sooner will you consult the dignity of that rational nature which He has given you, and which you have been hitherto degrading. KJV NKJV NLT NIV ESV CSB NASB. Joshua wanted the Israelites to understand that they must choose to serve God or the foreign gods; they could not worship both. It is not likely that many of you will be laid in your graves before this day next year; it is certain that some of you will. It cannot but be that an institution with an origin and sanctions so Divine, should be intended to work out great blessings for humanity. I will only say no household can escape its claims or venture, from any excuse, to set them aside. To make a choice means, in other words, to examine, to attach values, weigh one thing against another, and to pronounce on rational grounds for the election of a certain course of conduct.—A beautiful union of words is here found, namely, "choose," and "serve." It is a most fatal mistake; the father’s responsibility cannot be devolved upon another; it is one for which he himself must give account to God.’. You will make no journey, O traveller, if, now that the sun is in its zenith, you do not decide which way to walk! IV. (W. E. Knox, D. D.). II. What an admonition to every father of a family! in the land, or the Israelites had not dwelt in it, and therefore The special time when this option is to be made and this decision come to: “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” In every relation and condition of human life much depends on the cultivation of favourable junctures and the improvement of propitious moments. (Sketches of Sermons.). And as a family duty this possesses peculiar interest. Joshua challenged them as to whether they would serve their ancestors’ gods, or the gods of the Amorites (the Canaanites under another name), who had done nothing for them, or YHWH, Who had done so much for them. vii., p. 289; W. Anderson, Ibid., vol. Liberty of choice is granted to them in order that they might not afterwards plead that they were compelled.” — Keil. All will be done in compliance with external power, and every law will be disregarded, when it may be done with secrecy or impunity and with any present pleasure or profit. Have you made a … The verse makes good sense standing all by its lonesome, but it is gains even more gravity when seen in its larger context. II. (G. E. That true religion may have several prejudices and objections against it: “If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord”; intimating that, upon some accounts, and to some persons, it may appear so. 435, 448; G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines of Sermons, p. 124; Parker, vol. Joshua supposed that the religion of the Chaldeans or of the Canaanites might appear such to the people of Israel, when he said to them, “If you will not serve the Lord, choose whether you will serve the gods of your forefathers or the gods of the nations where you now dwell.” Here, then, were two false religions to choose out of. The great care and pains he took to confirm the people of Israel in the true faith and worship of God, that they might, after his death, persevere therein. 24:15 This is Joshua' affirmation of personal faith and family faith. I would willingly think, too, that I am speaking to some of this class whose lot God has mercifully east in families such as that in our text, where their souls are cared for, and their moral and spiritual welfare attended to. At the close I said, ‘If there is any man or woman who is ready, with the publican, to say, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” I invite him to rise.’ To my surprise, up rose the Colonel, and folded his arms, and his wife by his side. 5. 18.; Menochius) not that it can be ever lawful to choose evil and to reject the sovereign good. 4. Religion, then, is a matter of deliberation and choice. Compiled & Edited by BibleStudyTools Staff, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. (J. Jortin, D. D.). Joshua does not say, “Choose whether ye will have the Lord or no God”; but, “Whether ye will have the Lord or the gods of the idolators.” Rut we may not suppose that Joshua here distinguishes atheism from idolatry, as though the people might choose idolatry with a less degree of guiltiness than atheism. He had served YHWH all his adult life and now at the end, he reaffirms his faith. None so keen to see into a man’s religion as his own household. And both these religions, though they might have different objects of worship or different names for their gods, agreed in this, that they taught the worship of many deities and the use of images, and such ceremonies as amused the senses, and required no integrity and purity of heart. Oh that every Christian mother were living and moving in her household in the full consciousness of this power and this responsibility! Thus they build without a foundation. In a Christian nation everything invites us to remember our Creator--the voice of conscience, the example of the wise and good, and the public religion. The most important life-choice anyone will ever make is their response to this fundamental question, "choose today, Who you are going to serve." Francis. Decision for God enables a man to direct his way. Amorites are only mentioned, because they were a principal The more important, then, to note that the choice of to-day is likely to be that of to-morrow and all time to come. 7. undoubtedly they had good reason; and to take up with the worship And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. How long does it take to give away a house and land? Why, we should not live six hours after our birth in such a state. It was this use to which Joshua applied the striking historical survey of his great valedictory charge. Do not let the world shape you. What says reason? Their rulers, acting under the immediate direction of God, had woven a system of worship into all the national institutions, and provided, by every possible means, for the instruction of the people in the fear of the Lord. A solemn and exclusive worship of God from the heart. The choice of religion is limited as to time: “Choose you this day.” The present time is God’s time and ours: “Now is the acceptable time.” We know that; but as for to-morrow, as for the future, we know nothing. Joshua 24:15. 1. The service of Satan is at first pleasant, then ends in shame and remorse. Probably it was because he could say, “As for me”; that he could add, “and my house.” His children saw how consistently and fearlessly he served God; they saw, too, how constantly he proved the wisdom and blessedness of this service; and they naturally said to their father, “Thy God shall be my God.” No man can make his children grow up in the loving service of God; love and devotion cannot be forced. Who has the first right? Joshua 24:14-15 Introduction: Jesus was in the middle of his Sermon on the Mount, when he moved to the topics of money and materialism. “If you make haste,” some one said to her, “you will overtake the doctor. Sermon Bible Commentary. knowing that the examples of great personages, such as governors, “Seem evil unto you to serve the Lord!” How can the service of the Lord seem evil to any one who is not either wholly void of understanding or altogether hardened against religious impressions? For the great Author of our nature hath endued it with such faculties, as are proper to distinguish betwixt truth and error, and appear to have been given us for this very purpose. A. First as to the permission. 3. Joshua, the great leader of the army and the people of Israel, having won for them secure possession of the Promised Land, just before his approaching end, gathers the people together to tell them what is the only true condition on which they can continue to hold this land. ... 24:15 This is Joshua' affirmation of personal faith and family faith. Why then, Joshua asks, are they still carrying idols and false gods with them? Joshua 24:15. ), 1. The work is all in a nutshell. Joshua had laid down the challenge in verses 14-15 — to serve God — and the people have said they would in verses 16-18, but in verse 19, Joshua tells them, “You cannot serve the Lord!” He goes on to explain that God is holy, and jealous, and if the people forsake God, God will not forgive. You remember our Lord’s beautiful parable in which He compares Himself to the vine and His disciples to the branches. He therefore calls upon the people to make their choice, for God himself would not force them-they must serve him with all their heart if they served him at all. You might use them to elevate a basic jeans and cotton shirt outfit. II. He places a Moses upon the mount to bring down the law. 3. Is not this to belie your own professed convictions? As the sun is the centre of the earth’s light and heat, so from the family radiates throughout the world the heat and light of religion. The But as for me and my house.] Joshua does not speak his determination lightly. The popular idea is that fathers have a right to demand that some one else should teach their sons. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Having acknowledged that you have been in error--grievous, perilous error--why should you delay forsaking it? Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. Observe the treatment received by those who serve God. The Jews were not without an established religion when Joshua bade them choose between truth and error. Many people misquote this verse all the time, out of context. In religion nothing is more desirable than to be out-and-out in it. Joshua 24:15. of II. These were the brave and faithful words of a brave and faithful man—words that were brave as regards men, words that were brave as regards God. Yet is this quite understood? Having chosen God, serve Him--. That is sorry courage which skulks behind the bushes: that is poor loyalty which never utters the king’s name; that is questionable decision which dares not own itself to be on the Lord’s side. iii., pp. For the second time a great leader of Israel was about to pass from their midst. We have been led by our Lord’s parable to liken a Christian family and a Christian congregation to a cluster of grapes. land: but as for me and my house, we will serve the I observed before that false religions may in many respects be more agreeable than the true one to persons of a carnal and sensual temper. For LOVE is the only genuine principle whence all acceptable service of God can spring. Nothing should be more free than the preference given to a religion. Bible commentary on the Book of Joshua, chapter 24, by Dr. Bob Utley, retired professor of hermeneutics. Very true; but where great errors and corruptions are not only pretended, but are real and evident, and where our compliance with those errors and corruptions is made a necessary condition of our communion with that Church, in that case the guilt of schism, how great a crime soever it be, doth not fall upon those who forsake the communion of that Church, but upon those who drive them out of it by the sinful conditions which they impose upon them. God has His great work for individuals to do. 1. 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