Its foundations lie deep and strong in history; but its superstructure is continuously and essentially practical. II. For God said they would serve the gods of the people of the land in which they dwell, and … But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. I would willingly think, too, that I am speaking to some of this class whose lot God has mercifully east in families such as that in our text, where their souls are cared for, and their moral and spiritual welfare attended to. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I have always known Joshua 24:15 to be a hallmark text for those who defend a "free will" view of salvation. They who truly serve god make his service a matter of choice. Here is another thing observable in the text. This may in good part be ascribed to our civil confusions and distractions. The choice of religion is limited as to time: “Choose you this day.” The present time is God’s time and ours: “Now is the acceptable time.” We know that; but as for to-morrow, as for the future, we know nothing. 1. To vindicate the reasonableness of this resolution from the objections to which this singular and peremptory kind of resolution may seem liable. And here is often a fault in Christian heads of families. It is a most fatal mistake; the father’s responsibility cannot be devolved upon another; it is one for which he himself must give account to God.’. But as the servant’s life is one of much and undoubted privilege for good, so is it one of enormous temptation to evil. God will be loved freely and unconstrainedly, and served by choice and preference. The sooner men choose their moral master the better. If the worship of those gods which your ancestors worshipped beyond the Euphrates has the sanction of antiquity, ye know, on the other hand, that Abraham openly abjured that worship; that from his heart he renounced those idols; and that, drawing down the benediction of the Most High, he obtained from his munificence, as his inheritance, the country of which you have now taken possession. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Do not let the world shape you. An intimation of the danger there is that a great part of the world may grow weary of religion, even whilst it is taught in simplicity and truth. Where, but under your roof, and with your sanction, was that resolution laughed to scorn? Proud member And yet there is more than this to be advanced with regard to the apparent refusal of Joshua to interfere otherwise than by example with the national religion. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. In selecting religion, care should be taken to understand fully the merits of each. Decision for God enables a man to direct his way. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve”; for if you do not embrace the existing opportunity of devoting your selves wholly and heartily to God, which is your reasonable and bounden service, another opportunity may never be afforded. III. Both might please them by their antiquity; and as to that of the inhabitants of Palestine, the Israelites by adopting it might make themselves acceptable to their neighbours. (Essex Congregational Remembrancer. In their ears was the muffled sound, the “Dead March in Saul,” as a comrade was carried to his last resting-place; and this Glasgow soldier, converted up there at Maryhill, was talking to his friend, and pleading with him to come to Christ. And it is very true that about things indifferent a man should not be stiff and singular, and in things doubtful and obscure a man should not be over-confident of his own judgment; but in things that are plain, either from Scripture or reason, it is neither immodesty nor a culpable singularity for a man to stand alone in defence of the truth, because in such a case a man does not oppose his own single and private judgment to the judgment of many, but the common reason of mankind and the judgment of God plainly declared in His Word. Joshua 24:15 has a … Compiled & Edited by BibleStudyTools Staff, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. The free will position then argues, "If Joshua told them to choose, then man must be capable of choosing between the God of the Bible and others gods." 3. They now possess the land. 2. Most important, too, is it that every family should be perpetually reminded that, as a family, it is a Christian family--that the Church is not God’s only house in the parish, but that every house in the parish ought to be a house of God. Analysis. (201) With this design, Joshua, by way of probation, emancipates the Jews, making them, as it were, their own masters, and free to choose what God they are willing to serve, not with the view of withdrawing them from the true religion, as they were already too much inclined to do, but to prevent them from making inconsiderate promises, which they would shortly after violate. Joshua 24:15. Lord; 4. 2. The due limits and bounds of this peremptory resolution. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve” President Howard W. Hunter explained Joshua’s conviction to serve the Lord regardless of others’ choices: “After Israel had rested from the wars with their enemies, Joshua, who was now very old, called all Israel together. There is a mortification of pride in the choice of God’s service which often seems evil. These words not only express a great and high purpose, but they express a great and an infinitely precious idea and fact: they express for us the idea of family religion, as distinct on the one hand from personal religion and on the other from national religion. If the service of god is the object of our choice, it is our duty to engage ourselves to it by open profession and solemn covenant. He then says, "But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." And if the foundation be thus laid, let us go on to inquire what, and how raised, must be the building. Therefore “choose you this day whom ye will serve”; decide whether ye will be worshippers of Jehovah or idolators with the Amorites. Explain the activity, "In our story today, Joshua set up a large stone to help everyone remember the promise God made to Israel. I. God is a self-determinate being. Where are those Bibles now? They reveal to us the family, as what in truth it is, and what God designed it should be—the home and citadel of religious faith in the heart of the nation. In Christ are all families of the earth blessed. Watch our overview video on the book of Joshua, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. Serve the Lord because of His goodness. Liberty of choice is granted to them in order that they might not afterwards plead that they were compelled.” — Keil. While I read our story, please color/paint your rock so that you can remember God's promise." Before I pass to the outward acts and fruits of family religion let me exemplify these remarks in two departments of the inner life of the household: in their use of the Bible and in family prayer. The duty in question is enjoined by express command of God. He was a soldier, and if any one had asked him, “Whose soldier are you, Joshua?” he would have answered, “I am God’s soldier.” “Whose battles do you fight?” “I fight the battles of Jehovah.” “And what is your object in fighting?” “To glorify Jehovah.”. 217, 231; Bishop Walsham How, Twenty-four Practical Sermons, p. 250; Sunday Magazine, 1877, p. 88; R. Heber, Parish Sermons, pp. First, let me describe it. Very true; but where great errors and corruptions are not only pretended, but are real and evident, and where our compliance with those errors and corruptions is made a necessary condition of our communion with that Church, in that case the guilt of schism, how great a crime soever it be, doth not fall upon those who forsake the communion of that Church, but upon those who drive them out of it by the sinful conditions which they impose upon them. 1. This necessary deficiency is, however, amply and most graciously supplied by the mother of a household. 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