Joshua reminds us of the stakes (costs, risks, price)
|Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, 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. (Joshua24:14-15)|
The radical question he posed needed a radical response that would transform their lives. The question called the people to do some introspection and repent from their evil ways to experience the constant presence of the living God as they sincerely served Him. Joshua was able to risk because the time ("this day") to do so had come; the moment of truth had arrived. Joshua urged them to choose, fear and serve God with sincerity and in truth.
God always gives us the opportunity to choose the kind of life or way we want to lead. Like Joshua, the Israelites were given liberty to choose which God they were to worship but He also indicated the consequences. If one is called by God, one must be ready to proclaim God's prophetic message which causes change and may call one to die or loose popularity amongst one's people.
I believe that God is asking us to be bold enough to pose questions such as these to all of God's people so that it serves as a yardstick to measure how committed are they in serving God; how ready are they to repent from doing evil things so that they are assured of Him dwelling amongst them.
We live in the days where in many ways the moral crisis manifests itself in common manifestations such as murder, rape, robbery and theft, women and child abuse, domestic violence, drug trafficking, fraud and embezzlement of public funds, crooked business dealings as well as manifestations that are more subtle such as devaluation of people, racism, the breakdown of family as a fundamental social institution, the gap between the haves and haves-not, laziness, individualism and selfishness, lack of will to resist evil, perverted religious beliefs etc. Like Joshua we are challenged to urge God's people to be decisive in repenting, fearing and serving God in all sincerity and truth because God had seen them through so many hardships and difficulties and they themselves are witnesses to His mighty and wonderful acts. We are all challenged to make a choice between good and evil, between light and darkness, between life and death, between a narrow path to heaven and a broad way to hell, and between earthly and heavenly things.
To God be the Glory!!
Micah Nthali, serves St.James-Matsulu as a part time Minister and St.Paul's-Marite as Interim-Moderator. He is husband of Rachel and dad to Mlungisi and Siyabonga. They are a family that loves God.