Observation: In Joshua’s final recorded words to the Israelites, he reminds them of all God has done for them. He then asks the people what they will choose – serving the Lord or serving other gods. They assure him they will serve the Lord. Joshua dies at 110 years old and is buried in Ephraim, along with Eleazar the high priest and Joseph, whose bones they had carried from Egypt.
Application: Ever met someone with commitaphobia? (Webster definition: (n) someone who just can’t seem to make a commitment)
I’m married to one. He hates making plans, refuses to get a shared Google calendar, and despises being pressured into making a commitment. Whenever I ask him to make a commitment – whether it’s to go see a movie that’s coming out in a few weeks or watch TV with me in an hour after our son goes to bed – his response is the same: “We’ll see.”
He has a massive case of commitaphobia. (In his defense, he always claims that he made a commitment to get married, and that’s commitment enough!)
We all have a little bit of commitaphobia in us, some more than others. Making a commitment can be difficult, especially if we don’t know what it will entail. Will the investment be worth the reward? Will the discomfort be worth the outcome?
In the final chapters of Joshua, it’s time for the children of Israel to make a commitment. Joshua, continually steadfast in his commitment to the Lord, recounts all the Lord has done for them and then decides: I’m all in.
“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
The people respond the same way, declaring their faith in the God who brought them out of slavery in Egypt.
In his final recorded words, Joshua tells them three things:
- Remember what God has done
- Obey him completely
- Worship him alone
(And if you’re really into to acronyms, just think “ROW”)
When given the opportunity, am I committed to the Lord in the same way the Israelites were? Do I continually remember, obey, and worship?
- Remember – What has God done for me? How have his promises come to pass in my own life?
- Obey – Am I willing to obey him completely? Is there an area of my life where I don’t trust him fully?
- Worship – Do I worship God alone or am I fixated on anything or anyone else more than him? How can I fix my eyes on him alone?
"Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!" (Joshua 23:14)
Our faith is firm in the God who never fails.
Prayer: God, thank you for revealing the story of the Israelites through your Word, helping us see how good you are, how you always do everything you promise to do. Today, I pray I can remember everything you’ve done for me, push aside everything else vying for my attention, and fully trust in and worship you. Amen.