“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.” The people replied, “We would never abandon the Lord and serve other gods.”
Joshua 24:15-16 NLT
As I sit this morning to write this devotion, I can actually see Joshua’s declaration on the wall of my home. It is a beautiful metal carving, and below those words are the pictures of my family—all ten of us. “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Powerful words.
Joshua speaks these words at the conclusion of his final speech reminding the people of all the miracles God has done for them. He is about to step off the scene, and this is his final big scene. His mission is accomplished.
The people respond with a big promise— “We would never abandon the Lord and serve other gods.”
I think when they made that promise, they meant it. In that moment of reflection on all God had done for them, they were humbled and thankful. They were ready to go all the way with the Lord. But the story doesn’t end there for the people. They will settle in their new land, build homes, plant crops, raise flocks of animals, and get rather prosperous. In their prosperity, they will become spiritually lazy and begin to neglect the worship of Jehovah God.
Within a short time, the nation will begin to turn to worship idols, and God will bring judgment through the nations around them who will attack. The people will repent. Then God will raise a leader to deliver them. That cycle with continue for some time.
It is easy to make promises we really mean at the moment but then forget days, weeks, or years later. Perhaps, it was a camp experience, a special service, or an altar of marriage where we made a commitment—but time passed, and the commitment faded.
Real character is the ability to carry out a commitment after the emotion of the moment is gone. When life gets to going at full speed, we need a lot of character to live out the commitment made in a moment.
Holy Spirit, please remind me of my commitments to You. Help me today to renew my commitment to serve You. Help me remember my commitments to others and decide today to follow through on each of them.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.