Which will it be: Door number one or door number two?
Remember the old television show “Let’s Make A Deal?”
It’s what Joshua offers Israel in chapter 24. But in this case, if Israel chooses poorly she will end up with more than a disappointing gag gift. IN fact, she knows exactly what she will end up with. The alternative to choosing the Lord is emphasized in the recounting of Israel’s history. Those who elect to be on the opposite side of God receive darkness and drowning, defeat and the stings of hornets.
It’s not much of a choice and Israel quickly chooses to be on God’s side.
But it’s not that easy.
Being on the Lord’s side means nothing gets between you and God, and in Israel’s case, something already has. She has brought idols with her, idols from her Abrahamic heritage, religion and religious tradition handed down from generation to generation. There are also idols, religion and religious traditions picked up along the way from Egypt to Canaan. For this reason, Joshua says: “You can’t choose the Lord.”
Every generation needs to learn the lessons:
First, you must choose God. There is, really, no viable option. You may think you have a choice, but you don’t. It is truly a choice between life and death.
Second, choosing to be among God’s people requires not only a single minded devotion to the Lord, but ridding yourself of everything that would compete for that allegiance.
The book of Joshua ends with the people doing just that. But it doesn’t last long and Judges recounts those dark ages of Israel