Thursday, September 7, 2017
“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).
Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)
Despite remembering and voicing what the LORD God did for them (delivering them from Egyptian slavery, conquering their enemies, and so on—verses 16-18), Israel had retained their idols! Amazingly, while aged Joshua addressed the Jews for the last time, he had to instruct them to discard their idols and serve JEHOVAH God (cf. today’s Scripture). Verse 23: “Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.” Israel agreed to make a covenant with Joshua to serve the LORD (verses 21-28).
The Book of Judges, chapter 2, picks up: “ And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old….  And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.  And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:  And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.  And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.”
How tragic! Once Joshua and his generation die, Israel returns to idols. The older generation failed to faithfully communicate sound Bible doctrine to the younger Israelites. Now begins Israel’s spiritual “rollercoaster ride” in the Book of Judges….