Everybody serves somebody. There is no way around it, and there’s no carve-out or exemption to the rule. Even those who beat their chest and insist that they are in service to no higher power or authority are in service to something because we do not get a choice in whether or not we serve; we only get a choice in whom we serve.
As Joshua was getting on in years, feeling that his time here was drawing to a close, he gathered the tribes of Israel together. This was to be his final goodbye, but instead of Joshua waxing poetic or nostalgic, it was the Lord who spoke through his mouth. Other than the final few words, the entirety of Joshua’s oratory at Shechem was prophetic, going into great detail as to how the Lord had saved and protected them throughout the years.
At the end of his prophetic utterance, Joshua looks back on the life he lived, and in the brief, direct way of a soldier and leader of men, implores the people to make a choice as to whom they would serve. Whether it was to be the Lord, or the gods of the Amorites, or the gods of their fathers, every man was called upon to make a choice.
We live amidst a generation of fence-sitters. More and more, people are comfortable with the notion of sitting at the crossroads and never picking a path. It is a mindset that has been growing of late largely because men of principle and discipline such as Joshua are few and far between. Add to this the reality that whom you will serve is the only choice given you is a truth rarely trumpeted in today’s church, and you have a perfect storm of indifference, where everything is trivial and banal, and whatever is right in your own eyes is right for you.
When Joshua spoke to the people, I can’t help but sense an urgency in his word choice. The instruction to choose was not something that could be delayed or put off. Joshua insisted that it was this day the people must choose whom they would serve because Joshua knew full well that not choosing was a choice in and of itself. He knew that being on the sidelines watching the battle unfold is the next best thing to choosing evil itself, as far as the enemy is concerned.
The time is now, and the choice is whom. That’s as simple as it gets, but we try to complicate it to no end, mostly because the flesh resents the finality of having to choose the Lord once and for all.
We choose light or we choose darkness. We choose the Lord or we choose gods of our own making. No, the gods of the Amorites are no longer prominent figures as far as deities go, but we have replaced them with other gods; gods as pernicious as those of old who require blood and pain, chaos, and oppression to be satisfied.
The Lord is good and merciful, gracious and kind, yet so many choose to run into the arms of gods who will savage them, brutalize them, and leave them wounded and dying. You choose. This day, no tomorrow, or in a year, or when you’ve sown your wild oats, choose today whom you will serve because not choosing is not an option.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.