I gave you land you had not worked on, and I gave you towns you did not build—the towns where you are now living. I gave you vineyards and olive groves for food, though you did not plant them. “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”” Joshua 24:13-15 NLT
The children of Israel had been delivered from slavery in Egypt, had been taken care of for forty years while wandering in the wilderness, and had been given victory over the inhabitants of their promised land. God had done exactly what He said He would do. Joshua, the faithful apprentice for almost forty years under Moses, had been granted, by God, the privilege to lead the people in the conquest, see the land, and participate in its settling and dedication. Joshua was now a very old man. He was 110. God had honored Joshua for his faithful trust and service. Joshua reminded the people of Israel that God had defeated their enemies, given them houses, lands, vineyards, and their freedom. Joshua challenged the people to never forget what God had done and their covenant with Him. Joshua made it clear where he stood when he said "...but as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 NLT. His mind was made up. His life had proven his commitment to God and even at the end of his life he was rock solid. We need more men like Joshua. He, and a man named Caleb, were the only two of the original exodus from Egypt that got to inherit the land. The others had doubted God's promise, grumbled and complained, and even resorted to vile behavior. Through everything, Joshua was true to God. He saw the promise of God unfold before his very eyes. He stayed the course and finished the race. Nothing derailed him from his faith and trust in God. As a result, he was rewarded with long life and the blessing of God upon his family. Today, we too have been given by God a great land. We have inherited bounties like no other in history. Churches speckle the land like the stars in the sky. We have roads, highways, interstates, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, etc.. We drive vehicles that cost as much as houses used to. We have so much "stuff". The question is this: If God has been so good, where is our service to Him? One thing I know for sure: As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord!! I don't serve Him for the "stuff". I serve Him because He is Lord!!! I love Him for who He is! I thank Him for what He has done! May my life be spent in service to the One who gave it!! No matter what others may do, I know where my commitment lies: Jesus Christ. What He says is right, is right. What He says is wrong, is wrong. Lord, let me be a Joshua in our modern age. Help me stay true to the end. How about you?
Rev. Curtis Norris