Joshua’s Challenge to the People

Text: Joshua 24:14

We remember Joshua’s famous statement: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” But what did serving the Lord include? What was he challenging the people to do? This lesson examines Joshua’s challenge to the people and see how it applies to us.

Fear the Lord

  • Reverence for God – respect for who He is (Psalm 33:8-11); understand our place before Him (Psalm 8:3-4); recognize His ability and willingness to destroy the disobedient (Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 10:31)
  • Fear is mentioned by Joshua first because it is the foundation – fear is the beginning of wisdom/knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10); fear is connected with obedience (Ecclesiastes 12:13); we cannot please God without fear (Hebrews 12:28)

Serve in Sincerity and Truth

  • Similar to Jesus’ statement to the Samaritan woman (John 4:24) – to please God, we need the right attitude and the right actions
  • Sincerity – must have the right motivation for serving God; not to appear righteous before others (Matthew 23:27-28), but because God is worthy of our service (Revelation 4:11)
  • Truth – must serve God in the way He wants us to; not to do whatever we want in service to God (Colossians 2:20-23), but we must respect His will (Matthew 7:21-23)

Put Away Other Gods

  • God expects His people to serve Him exclusively (Exodus 20:3; 1 John 5:21) – cannot divide our allegiance between Him and any other god (Matthew 6:24)
  • They were warned not to serve the gods their fathers served – truth is based upon God’s standard, not family history (Matthew 10:37); we must be willing to do what is right regardless of what our parents did (Ezekiel 18:14-18)
  • They were also warned not to serve the gods of the people around them – too often, God’s people are influenced by the word around them (2 Corinthians 6:14-17); God expects us to be different (Romans 12:2)

Conclusion

  • We often talk about the choice Joshua presented to the people (Joshua 24:15) – but it was not enough to choose to serve the Lord; they needed to know how to serve the Lord
  • They had to take this seriously (Joshua 24:16-24) – we must take our commitment seriously as well

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Government, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Social Issues.