As for Me and My House
As for Me and My House
- Joshua 24 – The Book and life of Joshua comes to a close.
- So much has happened.
- These were very exciting times for the nation of Israel.
a. They had defeated their enemies and claimed the Promise Land
b. Each of the tribes had received their inheritance and now they could settle down and enjoy life a little.
c. It was time for hope, prosperity and blessings.
- But it was also a very dangerous time for these people!
- There was the danger that they would forget where they came from,
- How they got to where they were
- And what the Lord had done for them.
- There was the danger that they would adopt the idolatrous religion of the Canaanites who still lived among 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
- So there were dangerous times for Israel.
- 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 doesn’t want them living for God on the one hand and idols on the other hand.
- He wants wholehearted dedication or nothing!
- That is the same clear message that faces the church today. Who will you Serve?
- We are seeing the church today develop an appearance that is more and more like the church in Laodicea of Rev. 3:14-22
- The church may have everything it needs, but they aren’t using it.
- We are becoming Lukewarm in our walks with the Lord, the church as a whole.
- We individually and collectively need to get back to that WHOLEHEARTED dedication to the Lord.
- In our text this evening we are looking at Joshua’s last “Message” to the people or nation of Israel.
- I would like to take sometime and look at the three points that he makes in his sermon.
- Like Joshua usually does in his speeches to the Nation he starts off positive…
I A Time Of Contemplation (vs. 1-13)
Joshua starts 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 be reminded of those things as well.
A To Contemplate God’s Power In Their Lives (vs. 1-12) Read
1 They are reminded that God chose to call Israel.
2 That He redeemed them, and delivered them from Egypt
3 How He displayed His power and glory on their behalf time and time again.
4 They are reminded of the victories they have enjoyed and the blessing that have been theirs because of the Lord’s work in their lives.
5 What an awesome picture they must have had in their minds being reminded of the Power of God in their lives.
6 We need to be reminded of the same things in our lives. This morning we looked at and were reminded of some of the Things that God has done for us.
a But we don’t want to just stop with those couple things from this morning.
b He has done so much more for us that we could never exhaust the memory of His POWER in our lives.
i Where He found you, How He blessed you, How He has worked on your behalf time and time again, How He has answered prayer.
ii Remember His Power in your life.
7 Also in these verses they are reminded to…
B To Contemplate God’s Presence In Their Lives (vs. 1-12)
1 They were reminded how the Lord had been with them the whole time.
2 No matter what came their way the Lord was there to help them.
a He was the Pillar of Fire – giving light at night.
b He was the Pillar of Clouds – giving shade by day and keeping the enemies from being able to see them.
c No matter where they were they could see that Cloud showing that God was present, right there with them.
3 We need to remember that God is ALWAYS with us. Ever since you asked Jesus into your heart he has NEVER left you.
a Heb 13:5 “God has said, ‘never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
b Matt 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
c The nation of Israel may have had a cloud as a constant reminder that God was right there but today we “Christians” have it even better. We have the Holy Spirit living right inside each and every one of us.
4 HE IS PRESENT IN OUR LIVES!
C To Contemplate God’s Provisions In Their Lives (vs. 13)
1 They are reminded that they have received and enjoy blessing that they do not deserve.
2 They have received so many things that they did not deserve.
a “Land they did not toil,
b Cities they did not build,
c Vineyards and olive groves they did not plant.” (vs. 13)
3 God has provided for them miraculously and given them this land “flowing with milk and honey” as their inheritance. Not because they are great but because he chose to.
4 Just try and think about all that God has given to you that you do not deserve.
a Can you think of anything that you have that you deserve – good things
b Is there anything that you can say, “I got this on my own”? God did not help.
c Of course not – every good thing that we have is from God.
d James 1:17-18 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
5 God has been so good to us.
6 We need to contemplate what the Lord has done for us more often.
7 We need to be reminded of the Lord’s Power, Protection and Provision in our lives regularly.
8 Remember where He found you, and all that He has done for you.
9 Joshua then moves into…
II A Time Of Confrontation (vs. 14-15)
A Confronted By A Command – this command was three fold:
1 Fear the Lord –
a The word “fear” is the idea of: revere, to stand in awe of, be awed, reverence, honor, respect.”
b They were to Revere Him and love Him, not to go hide in a corner from Him because they are Afraid
c But the ultimate form of love and respect.
d We are to do the same thing – we have been redeemed and he deserves to be respected and loved by us.
2 Throw Away Your Other gods –
a They had idols that they had brought with them from Egypt
b And also idols that they had found here in the “Promised Land” that others had left behind.
c But they are commanded to destroy all those “other gods”.
d You may be sitting there saying, “I don’t have any idols in my life.”
i That would be good… but is there anything that is taking a more forefront seat in your life.
ii It has been said, “Show me your check book and your day planner and I will show you what is the most important thing in your life, your idol.”
iii How true is that? Whatever we spend the most time and money on is what we are worshiping. IS IT GOD???
3 Serve the Lord Faithfully –
a The word “serve” carries the idea of one working for someone else – slave
b Doing their bidding, doing what they want done not what you want done but their desires are you commands.
c And the word “faithfully” or “sincerity” – means wholeheartedly, completely, with integrity. Our English word comes from two Latin words which mean “without wax”.
i It was used to refer to pottery dealers who sold first class pottery that did not have cracks patched with wax.
ii When pottery was held up to the light you could see if it had cracks in it and if they were patched with the real thing or with a cheaper patch called wax.
iii Because the light would show through and you would know that in time the wax would wear down and eventually leak.
d When we serve the Lord we are supposed to do it wholeheartedly and not just doing a ½ job.
B Confronted By A Choice (vs. 15a)
1 Joshua challenged the people with the choice, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” (vs.15a)
2 The choice was clear either you can serve God or you can serve the gods beyond the river that your forefather served.
3 Either or, not both! Pick one, and stick to it!
4 The same choice stands before us today.
a Many need to get off of the fence and serve the Lord faithfully, completely, and wholeheartedly.
b We cannot serve both God and this world. We have to choose sides.
c Either God is in first place in your life or you have a different god!
C Confronted By A Challenge (vs. 15b)
1 Joshua set the example – “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
2 This was their leader that they have stood behind and gone into battle with and followed these past years.
3 They are now faced with this challenge; Joshua is setting the president…
4 We could use some more Joshua’s in our day!
a We need some men and women who will put God and His Word in between themselves and everything else in this life.
b Not doing anything that hasn’t been filtered through God and His Word.
5 Does your life stand as a challenge to godly living, or as an encouragement to godless living? It is one or the other!
They have the Command they know their Choices and they are now Challenged…
III A Time Of Consecration (vs. 16-28)
A The Response of the People (vs. 16-18) Read
1 They consider all that the Lord has done for them and say, “How could we not choose the Lord?”
2 They have the right attitude; God has done so much for us, it is our responsibility and duty to serve Him only.
3 We should have the same response when we think about all that the Lord has done for us and contemplate the greatness of God.
4 He would be the ONLY one worthy of any Service and Loyalty.
B The Reminder for the People (vs. 19-23)
1 Joshua reminds them that God is Holy and Just.
2 If they serve Him, He will bless; but if they disobey He will punish them.
3 Joshua sorta gives them one last opportunity to change their minds.
4 He knows their track record. They grumble and complain (Joshua was there with them wondering in the wilderness for 40 years) he knows that they very easily turn away from God and serve other gods.
5 This is also a good reminder for us today.
6 The only reason that many of us are here today (myself included) is because of the patience of God.
7 We deserve to be wiped out but he chooses to spare our lives for now.
8 How long will he wait?
C The Rededication of the People (vs. 24-28)
1 After all this and the reminder and the warning the people respond with this, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey Him.” (vs. 24)
2 They even set up a memorial to remind them of their commitment.
a A large stone that would sit there and be a constant reminder to them.
b If they kept their word and obeyed – God would bless
c If they didn’t keep their word – God would punish
3 How soon they forgot and fell back into their old ways of life
4 They paid dearly for their sin, just read on in your Bibles; Judges, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles.
5 God keeps good records!
a He will hold us to the vows that we make.
b He wants us to serve Him, love Him, and honor Him.
c When we do that He will bless our lives but
d When we choose to walk in ways that do not please Him, then we can expect Him to chastise us, if we are truly His children.
1. Who will you serve today?
2. If the Lord be God then serve Him.
3. If NOT serve something else. (what a dumb thought!)
4. Whatever you do stop trying to have the best of both worlds.
5. A Christian that refuses to live for the Lord is a poor advertisement for the Lord Jesus Christ.
6. Remember your life is the only Bible that some people may ever read…
a. What do the pages of your life convey to the world?
b. What message are they receiving because of watching your life?
7. You are in one of two places this evening:
a. Serving the Lord
b. Serving the Devil
8. Who is your god?
Hymn # 674 “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?”