The account of the Israelites taking the land of Canaan found in the book of Joshua, is some of the most action-packed parts of the Old Testament. Joshua tells of the taking of the land after the death of Moses.
Many battles were fought by the Israelites, and as long as they were faithful to God, they were victorious. When they failed to follow Him, they experienced defeat. In the last chapter of this great book, Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel together to remind them of the things God had done for them and to tell them of the choice they have before them. The choice was the same one they had had to make since beginning their journey. They could serve God or not. In verse fifteen Joshua said, “ 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.” (Josh 24:14,15) Joshua told the people to do something that people today must also do, and that is to make a choice as to whom they will serve. Often, it is wondered just how the Israelites could turn their back on God when He had done so much for them.
How soon man forgets just how much He has done for mankind.
Most individuals when asked, “Who do you serve?” will say, “God”. Yet the fruits displayed by many shows otherwise. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”. (Mat 7:20) When a person has really chosen God above all else, it is God that will always come first in their lives. Not just on certain occasions but always! Those who only serve God when they are in need fail to see the hypocrisy of their actions.
God’s word helps one to be able to see how to choose to live for God. Paul wrote about the sins of this world in the book of Galatians.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal 5:16-24 KJV) The world glories in the works of the flesh, and some Christians are enticed into joining them in their sin. Those Christians are making the wrong choice.
Parents have to set the example for their children and teach them to always put God first in their lives. Recreational activities can hinder the proper choice unless one is careful. Sports are good for the most part, but occasionally the choice has to be made whether to put sports or God first.
If it is rationalized that since it is only a few times that sports take priority everything is o.k. is God really coming first? The decisions made with young people will help them decide other decisions later. The words of Joshua are just as important today as they were the day, he said them. “Choose you this day whom you will serve”! Those words answered properly can lead to eternal life