“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.” Joshua 24:15
Life is not just a series of events that take place between the cradle and the grave. Your life is not (or at least should not) be defined or determined by what anyone else has or has not done or by the direction of the world around you in the day in which you are living. Your life is, in fact, the result of the choices you make — life changing choices.
Joshua left God’s people with such a choice. After seeing all that God had done for them, it would seem like an obvious choice, but then as now it is easy to be deceived into seeing things differently than they really are. It is hard to even conceive how a group of people could be supernaturally delivered out of slavery and seeing with their own eyes the most powerful army in the world being destroyed only to complain against the Lord and accuse Him of conspiring to kill them in the wilderness!
An entire generation except for two men, Joshua and Caleb, would die in the wilderness over the next forty years. How is that possible when the Lord delivered them from Egypt and was with them in the wilderness? Life changing choices. Moses set the choice before the people and it was very simple; choose life or death. The Lord provided a way for His people to go through the wilderness and right into the Promised Land, but they were not willing. Canaan Land was theirs by divine decree but they chose the false gods of the wilderness.
Even the generation that entered the Promised Land had a choice — they could go after the false gods of the Amorites and the other nations in the world around them, or they could choose life. As you follow the history of the Israelites you see examples of both; the blessing of choosing to follow God and obey His word as well as the disaster of turning away from the Lord to follow false gods and be like the world and those who love the world.
That was then, but what about now? Has God delivered you from the evil Pharaoh, opening the Red Sea before you and closing it again behind you as your mortal enemy is in hot pursuit? Did the Lord open the Jordan River before you so that you could walk right into the Promised Land of Canaan? Has God caused the mighty walls of Jericho to fall down before you so that you could take the impenetrable city? No, what He has done for you is infinitely better than all of these mere shadows of what (or rather Who) was to come.
You have the choice of following Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You can choose to live life the way He commands, regardless of what anyone else did in the past or is choosing to do today — your life consists of the choices you make. There are plenty of bad choices in your family history and probably a few in your own past and certainly in the world around you, but none of these can keep you from making the right choices today. Good choices. God’s choices. Life changing choices!