Life’s Most Important Choice

By Susie Frederick

Long ago, the Israelites were waiting to receive the Lord’s command to take possession of the land He had promised to give to Abraham’s descendants. They were camped beside the Jordan River, when God called their leader Moses up into the mountain. There He showed Moses the good land which they were to inherit. But because of Moses’ disobedience to God, he would not be allowed to enter the promised land. Moses died on the mountain, and the Lord God Himself buried Moses there.

Before Moses died, the Lord appointed the next leader of His chosen people. Joshua had been faithful to the Lord for many years. He was one of the twelve spies who were sent into Canaan soon after the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt. Of the twelve, only Joshua and Caleb had faith that God would deliver the land into their hands. Because of the lack of faith of the other Israelites, God caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Joshua was Moses’ chief assistant, and God eventually chose Joshua to take Moses’ place as leader of the nation.

Years later, when the land of Canaan had been conquered under Joshua’s leadership and by God’s awesome power, Joshua called the people together at Shechem. He reminded them how God had dealt with Abraham and his descendants through the centuries, and had finally brought them to the promised land, giving them possession of the fertile land of Canaan. Joshua told them that God said, “I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant” (Joshua 24:13).

After reminding the people of the greatness and goodness of the true God, he challenged them with this admonition: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).

When the people heard this, they all agreed to follow the true God, saying,“...We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.” (Joshua 24:18).

Joshua warned them about the punishment that would come upon them if they did not follow God’s ways, and the people repeated that they would be faithful to God.

Today you and I must make the same choice: will we worship and follow the living God, or will we worship false gods made by men? The blessings are great if we make the right choice. The true God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Just as He promised Jacob (Genesis 28:15), He has also promised Christians (Hebrews 13:5). Choose to serve the living God every day of your life, and He will bless you for eternity.