By Ysrael De la Cruz
Every church has a history; a history that reveals the successes and failures. The joys and sorrows. This church this year celebrates its 51st anniversary of its existence. A lot can happen in 51 years. People come and go, splits, change in leadership and so forth. Many of us who have been here longer than 6 years can testify to some of the challenges this church has faced and by the grace of God we are still here. Despite all the challenges and difficulties this church has gone through in its 51 years of existence, one thing is constant, one thing is unchanging- God’s faithfulness. God is always faithful.
Joshua highlighted the faithfulness of God in bringing the nation of Israel to take possession of the land of their inheritance. Right before everyone went to enjoy their inheritance, Joshua reviewed their history; they remembered their past and how The LORD was there with them.
Joshua 24:1-13 Revieing the nation’s history.
-God’s faithfulness in keeping his word to Abraham.
-God’s faithfulness in providing for his people
-God’s faithfulness in protecting his people. (he fought their battles)
-God’s faithfulness in bringing them to the land he promised.
After Joshua reviewed the nation’s history, then he went on to challenge the people. We have seen evidence of God’s faithfulness through the years. How faithful are you going to be to him?
-Commit to worship God faithfully.
Now therefore, fear the LORD and serve him (worship him) in sincerity and in faithfulness. Joshua noticed the nation’s lack of commitment in worshiping God; they had been serving or worshiping other deities, man-made gods.
Worshiping God faithfully and honestly means to throw away the competition.
-Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt and serve the LORD.
The Israelites made it to the land of the promise, and they traveled 40 years carrying with them their ancestral gods. Joshua challenged them to get rid of them.
God was faithful to them to bring them to the land despite their unfaithfulness to him.
Worshiping God is a choice you must make. (v.15)
Joshua challenged the people to make a choice regarding worship.
But if it is unpleasing in your sight to serve the LORD, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!” (BSB)
If you don’t desire to serve the LORD, then choose whom you will serve.
The gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River. (ancestral gods)
Or the cultural gods (the gods of Amorites in whose land you are living).
Each one of us is exposed to these gods; the ancestral gods, those our families grew up worshiping; those who were passed from one generation to another.
The cultural gods (the idols the days), those around us which are encouraging us to worship them instead of God)
Just like the Israelites, we too must choose who we are going to worship.
Joshua made the choice to worship Yahweh. (“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”) It is as though Joshua showed the nation all the possibilities, you must choose today whom you will worship; but my choice is already made. My family and I will worship Yahweh. Joshua made the choice to be faithful to Yahweh amid a myriad of gods.
God will always be faithful, but we may not always be faithful to him. God has been faithful to us, to this church; but we must commit ourselves to be faithful to him, as individuals and as a community.
Being faithful to worshiping God starts by getting rid of whatever is competing with him in our hearts. Almighty God should not have to compete for your attention, time, money, service. He said to have no other gods but him.
Being faithful to God starts by making a commitment to only worship him, just like Joshua did that day.
“As for me and my family, we will worship, serve, Yahweh.”
It was not just Joshua and his family who served the LORD, the nation made the commitment to do so as well. They listened to Joshua’s appeal and the Bible tells us that they were faithful to the vow they made.
Judges 2:7 (NKJ)
So the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.
As a church, we must commit ourselves to be faithful to God where we are; with what he has entrusted to us. Let’s go for!