My little mind did not understand everything that was happening that day. I knew there was war and talk of war, still my world was filled with familiar things like cooking, cleaning, feeding the livestock.
Even still, I knew that something important was going to happen. I quickly glanced around to see if I could spot some of my friends. Yes, there were some familiar faces. Sadly, after that day, I never saw some of them again.
A hush fell over the crowd, as I heard a voice all too familiar to me. It was an older man whom my father greatly admired. When he spoke, it was with the authority that you could tell was not his own. He spoke about our father Abraham and of Isaac and Jacob. He also spoke of Jehovah in a way that I have only heard few people speak. It was as if he had spoken to God personally.
People around us began talking amongst themselves about what he was saying.
I could tell that he was saying something important, because I felt a change in my father's hand that I was holding.
My thoughts came back to what the man was now saying.
"Now therefore fear the , and serve him in sincerity and in truth:
and put away the gods which your fathers served..."
The whispers stopped.
My father and a few other men cheered, while others remained shocked and silent.
Now the eyes and ears of the crowd were glued on the speaker. It seemed as if we all knew what would come next was the most important part.
"...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 ."
It was as if he had drawn a line in the sand.
We had a choice.
For my father, it was not a decision he had to think about. He knew that the only One to serve was the God whom he loved.
- - - - - - -Years have passed since that day.
Many families were happy to choose to serve God, while others reluctantly chose because they knew they should. Many of those families have died off or become slaves to our enemies as a result of their sins and greed for worldly gain.
My family has survived from generation to generation, because we have learned from our father to put God first.
They say we will soon be able to enter the Promised Land...
Yes, that day seems like only yesterday, because it was the day our whole lives changed.
- - - - - - -The previous was a thoughtful, but fictional account taken from Joshua 24.
The day that Joshua challenged the people to choose truly changed their lives.
What a great challenge for us today!
Joshua challenged the people to turn from their familiar traditions to serve the Lord God.
Our challenge should be the same.
If Joshua had addressed that challenge to me, would I be willing to choose serving God over my family and cultural traditions?
As you ponder that thought, I leave you with the closing remarks from this passage in Joshua.
"And the people said unto Joshua,
Nay; but we will serve the .