Joshua 24:13-15…And I have given you a land for which ye did not labor, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them, of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. 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….. as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Reading from the Old testament we could see that the ancient people had no knowledge of the God that created the universe, and they were serving idols made by hand, some of them were serving marine gods, and other gods that devil introduced to them. But God desired that we know the true God that created us. This was the purpose of calling Abraham and blessing him and leading him out of the land of nativity into a different land where he could walk with him and show him who He is. Step by step Abraham learned to know who God is, and the promises of God were all fulfilled. He was promised greatness and physical blessings that will extend to his children’s children, and also that all nations will be blessed through him. The nation of Israel came from him, and this nation were children of his grandson Jacob who was named Israel, and were allowed to sojourn in the land of Egypt before Moses led them out of Egypt to their promised land. Now that Joshua took over the leadership after the death of Moses, God continued to reveal himself to these children that He is God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, and all the promises he made to Abraham are theirs. The promised land, the land of Canaan was filled with milk and honey, houses, vineyards, olive yards, and the land was divided among them according to their tribes, and their sizes. It was theirs to enjoy. Psalm 24:1 says, “the earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof”. For these children of Israel to know him, he performed many miracles, signs and wonders, that no one else had ever witnessed, like opening the Red Sea for them to cross over and food (manna) sent from heaven as their daily food, and water from the rock to quench their thirst. Throughout their 40 years journey to the promised land, they never lacked anything, and the physical appearance of God in the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night guided them throughout the journey. Joshua had now done what he was required to do and before his death, he recounted to them all that God had done for them, they were made to enjoy the labor of other people, lands, houses, vineyards which they did not build were given to them as their possession. So Joshua encouraged them to put away all other idols they were still holding on to, and serve the real God, the God that gave them all these good stuff deserved to be worshiped and served. He further told them that if they would not serve this God, let them choose the god they would serve, whether the gods of their fathers before the flood, or the god of the Amorites, the people who occupied the land they were now dwelling in, but as for him (Joshua) and his house , he said they would serve the LORD.
Brothers and sisters, your story might not be like the story of the children of Israel, but definitely you have a story to tell in your continuous existence on the planet Earth. If you look back on many years before you got to this position you are in now, many people that aspired to become somebody of importance, never made it, may be death claimed their life prematurely, or they could not make it because of what life presented to them. Many people have riches but sickness did not allow them to enjoy the riches. Some people’s life were terminated due to wrong advise from bad friends. Mishap befell some children before they were born or at the point of delivery and never made it The list of what true life is cannot be exhausted. But here you are, still basking in the abundant grace of God, you are not sick, you are able to feed yourself, you are able to sleep without medication, and you wake up by the special grace of God, daily loaded with benefits of the day, All that you are enjoying are the grace of God, therefore you are supposed to show appreciation to God for all his goodness and mercies upon you. The knowledge of God will open us to all the benefits of God. If the LORD withholds His rain for a season, the consequences of this could cause food shortage for more than a year. Imagine what shortage of food can cause. Isn’t God that supplies rain and the sunlight for our benefits. idols do not have power, they cannot talk nor save. Therefore the God that is all powerful, all knowing, the Creator of the earth, the One that sustains the Earth, the One that answers whenever He is called upon and delivers from trouble, should be the God to be worshiped.
Joshua had tasted it. He had firsthand experience of who God is. He witnessed His power under the leadership of Moses, and when he took over from Moses to lead the children of Israel to the promised land, he walked closely with him, received instructions from him, and saw the faithfulness of God in fulfilling all His promises. God promised never to leave him nor forsake him, and that was what happened till the end. This was why he told the children of Israel to put away all useless idols and serve this God with all sincerity and truth. You can not afford to serve any lesser being when you have already known the truth. Just as Joshua had made declaration that he and his house would serve the God of the universe, we also should be able to say categorically that we will serve the Lord. God wants us to know Him, and the love and care He has for mankind. So we should spend more time on the word of God (Bible) given to us to learn more about God. Reading through the word and learning more about Him will expose you to all that he is doing in your life, and you will be able to depend more on Him and then receive more from Him. You need to give it a trial and see that God of the universe is the true God. Taste and see that the LORD is good and He will meet you at the point of your needs in Jesus name, and then you will be able to advise other people to serve the God you are serving.. It is well with you.
Prayer…Lord, let your knowledge fill the earth as water covers the sea. Give us more grace to pant after you and grow in your knowledge.in Jesus name, Amen.