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Joshua 24:1-28

These were exciting times for the people of Israel. They had defeated their enemies and claimed the promised land. It was also a very dangerous time for these people!

There was the danger that they would forget where they came from, how they had gotten to where they were and what the Lord had done for them. There was the danger that they would begin to adopt the idolatrous religion of the Canaanites who still lived around them. There was the danger that they would fall into a state of complacency. A state in which they might feel that they could let down their guard. These were dangerous times for Israel indeed!

In the midst of this situation, Joshua stands up to deliver to the people a challenge from the Lord. God wants them to dedicate themselves to Him and to His work. He does not want them trying to live for Him on the one hand and the gods of Canaan on the other. He wants wholehearted dedication or nothing! That is the clear message of this passage.

I would just remind you that these are dangerous times for the church and for America. We are seeing the church develop an appearance that is more and more like that of the church in Laodicea in Revelation 3:14-22. A church that has everything it needs, except for the presence, power and glory of God. Just as the Lord issued a call through Joshua, all those centuries ago, for His people to make of their minds as to whom they would serve, so He issues the same call to His people today.


Joshua begins his remarks by calling them to a time of contemplation. He wants them to remember who they are ,where they came from and what the Lord has done for them. It would do us good to think back on those things ourselves!

1. To Contemplate God's Power In Their Lives (V. 1-12)

    A. They are reminded about God's choice and call of Israel.

        1. How He redeemed them and delivered them from Egypt.

        2. How He manifested His power and glory on their behalf time and time again.

   B. We need to contemplate all the Lord has done for us!

      1. Remember where He found us. What He did for us. How He has blessed us.

      2. Remember His power in our lives

2. To Contemplate God's Presence In Their Lives (V. 1-12)

    A. Israel is reminded that God has ever been with them. In everything they faced,

    B. We need to remember that since the day we were saved by grace, God has never left nor forsaken us, 

        1. (Heb. 13:5)(Matt. 28:20)

3. To Contemplate God's Provisions In Their Lives (V. 13)

   A. Reminded of how they enjoy blessings that they do not deserve.

   B. If we are saved, we have much this morning that we simply do not deserve!            

       1. We are saved, secure, indwelt, by the Holy, and headed to a home in Heaven!

       2. We have more than anyone can understand or imagine! God has been so good to us!

      3. I wonder why so many of God's children seem to have a hard time loving and serving Him?

     4. Israel was guilty of walking out on God even when He had been so good to them, (Jer. 2:5-13)





1. Confronted By A Command (V. 14)

   A. Joshua's three-fold command

       1. "fear" God. “Put away” other gods; “serve” the Lord.

  B. These are commands that God's people need to take heed to today! We need to

      1. Fear the Lord - Reverence and honor Him. He deserves to be respected and loved by those He

      2. Put away our other gods! All those things in our lives that come ahead of the Lord (Col. 1:18)

      3. Serve the Lord with sincerity. The word "serve" means "to fulfill the role of a slave."

         a. We are His possessions and should live as such, (1 Cort. 6:19-20).

    4. God does not want His people to live lives of hypocrisy! He wants us to be what we claim to be!

2. Confronted By A Choice (V. 15a)

    A. Joshua challenged the people to choose who they would serve and to get about it!

    B. The same choice stands before us! It's time people made up their minds who's team they are on.

       1. (1 Kings 18:21). Cannot have both God and the world! Cannot have Him and all your distractions.

3. Confronted By A Challenge (V. 15b)

   A. Joshua set the example by stating his clear intention to serve God.

   B. We need some Joshua’s in our day!

       1. Men and women who will settle it in their hearts that Jesus Christ and His Word, first place

       2. Men and women who will set the example for others.

      3. Men and women who would rather die than let something come ahead of God in their lives.

         a. Does your life stand as a challenge to godly living, or as an encouragement to godless living?


    1. The Resolve Of The People (V. 16-18)

       A. The people consider all that the Lord has done for them and they declare their allegiance to Him

      B. Is the Lord your choice this day?

          1. If He has to compete for your time, your attention, your money and your love,

             a. It calls your whole profession into question

  2. A Reminder To The People (V. 19-23)

     A. Joshua takes the opportunity to remind them that God is holy and righteous.

     B. If they serve Him, He will bless but if they don‘t there will be a high price to pay.

     C. Remember while God is a God of love, grace and mercy; He is also still a holy and righteous God. 

         1. He will not tolerate sin in the lives of His children! (Heb. 12:6-12).

         2. Sadly, many people pay the price for their sins in their children, their health and in their homes.

         3. You better understand today that you will reap exactly what you sow, (Gal. 6:7)

    3. The Reaction Of The People (V. 24-28)

       A. The people respond by setting about the business of serving the Lord.

       B. They and Joshua set up a memorial, a record if you will of their decision.

          1. There was a record of their decision and it would be used to hold them accountable.

     C. Sadly, Israel did not keep their vows to the Lord and they paid a terribly high price.

        1. God keeps good records! He will hold us to the vows we have made, (Eccl. 5:1-7).

        2. He wants us to serve Him, love Him and honor Him. When we do that, He will bless our lives.

        3. When we choose to walk in a way that does not please Him, then we can expect Him to chastize us,




Don't you think that it's time to make up your mind? If the Lord be God then serve Him. If He isn't, then go ahead and serve whatever has your heart. Whatever you do, stop trying to have the best of both worlds! A Christian that refuses to live for the Lord is a poor advertisement for the Lord Jesus Christ! While a life lived in His power and victory is a powerful advertisement indeed! Which are you?

Perhaps you aren't even saved. You know that if you were, your life would be vastly different than it is. Today would be a great day to come to Jesus. Others may want to come before the Lord and just let Him do a spiritual checkup on your heart. Let's get it right so that the church can grow and go for the glory of the Lord!

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