Then Joshua summoned all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, including their elders, leaders, judges, and officers. So they came and presented themselves to God. Joshua said to the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Long ago your ancestors, including Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River, and they worshiped other gods. But I took your ancestor Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him into the land of Canaan. I gave him many descendants through his son Isaac. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. To Esau I gave the mountains of Seir, while Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. “Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I brought terrible plagues on Egypt; and afterward I brought you out as a free people. But when your ancestors arrived at the Red Sea, the Egyptians chased after you with chariots and charioteers. When your ancestors cried out to the Lord, I put darkness between you and the Egyptians. I brought the sea crashing down on the Egyptians, drowning them. With your very own eyes you saw what I did. Then you lived in the wilderness for many years. “Finally, I brought you into the land of the Amorites on the east side of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I destroyed them before you. I gave you victory over them, and you took possession of their land. Then Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, started a war against Israel. He summoned Balaam son of Beor to curse you, but I would not listen to him. Instead, I made Balaam bless you, and so I rescued you from Balak. “When you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you, as did the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. But I gave you victory over them. And I sent terror ahead of you to drive out the two kings of the Amorites. It was not your swords or bows that brought you victory. 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 .”
Dear God, it’s always important to remember what you’ve done and who you are as we try to figure out what you might be asking of us next. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- The most important one is that it reminds us of your faithfulness to us. It will strengthen our faith to remember what you’ve done before.
- It might show us a pattern as to what direction you’ve pushed us in the past and how you might be directing us for the future.
- It will stir gratitude and worship within us.
- If we share it with others, it will testify to them and hopefully increase their faith.
That’s just off of the top of my head. There are probably many other reasons. In this case, Joshua didn’t just get up and say, “Choose today whom you will serve…” He laid out his case with evidence of not only your faithfulness, but also of your ability to deliver. You not only love us, but you are awesome in every way.
Father, help me to do this as I face different crossroads at home, in the community, and at work. Remind me of your faithfulness to me and the blessings you have put on the work I do. Guide me in your way. Love through me. Lead through me. And I can tell you, without reservation, as for my wife and me, we will serve you.
In Jesus’s name I pray,