It is a new day. Yesterday is gone. And we have a choice to make.
- Will I make it today?
- Will I make the right choice?
- Do we want to serve God?
- Do we want to serve something else?
It is a choice we get to make. God won’t make it for us. Our family and friends can’t do it either. God is God and he gives us a choice as to whether we will worship him or not. I choose God. I will serve Him. I do it today.
“Now therefore fear Yahweh [the Lord] and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh [the Lord].” | The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Joshua 24:14–15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The ancient vassal treaties essentially stipulated exclusive loyalty to the Great King. One Hittite treaty commands: ‘Do not turn your eyes to anyone else’!
- So also here. Fear the LORD entails waving a white flag of surrender before Yahweh’s law, of submitting oneself to his commandments. One cannot ‘fear him’ and at the same time serve other gods; these idols must be thrown away.
- Israel’s jealous God tolerates no rival. Neither does Jesus. The reference to Egypt adds to the Pentateuch that Israel’s redemption from Egypt was spiritual, not just politica. God demands that the people chose where their allegiance lies, either with the old gods of Terah, the new gods of Canaan, or with himself, an offer of options that assumes Israel’s freedom before God.
- Entrance into this covenant was a matter for each individual family to decide as seen in Joshua’s famous resolve. Although Israel functioned as a nation, the covenant was essentially a family matter, and still is. As eyewitnesses of the acts recited in the prologue and so able to confirm its accuracy, that generation appropriately formed the foundation for the old covenant relationship with God.
- After this the covenant will be passed on by the mouth of one generation and received in the heart of the next. So also the new covenant community is built on the apostles who were eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus the Messiah, especially his resurrection, and after that the mouth confesses it and the heart receives it.