Joshua 22-24: Choosing Clarity

Joshua gives the people a clear choice just before he died.  Either they choose to love the Lord, or they choose to love other gods.

It really doesn’t get much simpler than that, does it?

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

A stark contrast outlines the difference in the lives of those who serve the Lord and in the lives of those who serve only themselves or other gods.  Blessings from above follow one course of action, intent, and though, and curses follow the other course.

My heart grieves for the generation of 20s and 30s who have chosen to disbelieve not just in Jesus, but also in the existence of God himself!  One of the most-read articles last weekend on cnn.com was a story by an atheist who blamed religion for all the world’s troubles.  If people stopped following their gods, he reasoned, then much of the violence and bloodshed in the world today would go away.

I counter that argument with the truth that those of us who follow Christ are, by nature, nonviolent.  There are segments of the population out there who hide behind the “Christian” moniker but do not truly adhere to the teachings of Jesus.  The ugly words coming out of their mouths proves their reliance on themselves rather than on Christ:

9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.11Can both fresh water and salt[a] water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3, NIV)

Then there are those people who assert that morality is not black and white.  I disagree.  Right and wrong are clear-cut, and there is an inborn realization of the difference that crosses cultures and generations.  Why else does a child try to hide the evidence of a cookie raiding expedition?  Even the child knows stealing is wrong.

But now we are entering an age in our culture where immorality is honored while moral behavior is mocked.  Whole generations of people truly believe that I am narrow minded and unintelligent because I am a conservative Christian who believes in the sanctity of life from conception all the way to a natural death.

I submit that right is still right, and wrong is still wrong.  And, in the words of Joshua, as for me and my household, we will choose the right path and serve the Lord.

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