The Best Choice

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture: (Josh 24:14-15 NKJV)  “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! {15} “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.”

Observation: This is one of those well-known passages in the Bible and it comes in the latter part of Joshua’s life, as he recounts for the Israelites what God has done for them and again reminds them to not enter into relationships with the people of the land lest they “become a snare” for them.  Here he challenges them with his own personal example.  If, after all God has done for them, they still choose to worship other gods, so be it.  Crazy as it seems, so be it.  But as for me and my family, God forbid that I’d leave Him to worship worthless pieces of wood, stone, or metal.  We will serve the Lord.  It is his own example that leads the people to respond the way they did: (Josh 24:16-18 NKJV)  So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; {17} “for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. {18} “And the LORD drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God.”

Application: We can never underestimate the power of our decisions on what other people, particularly our family, do.  Joshua understood that, which is why, at the dusk of his life he challenged the children of Israel with the words of our text.  We can challenge our children as often as we want to, but if our actions don’t match our words, the challenge will not only go unheeded, it could well drive them to make the opposite choice of what we would have wanted for them.  That’s that mean that if we live correctly all the time (or at least most of the time), that our children will follow our steps all the time (or most of the time) as well?   I wish I could tell you that is the case.  The reality is that everyone has the same freedom of choice and even the most godly parents have experienced the pain of seeing their children leave the faith in which they were brought up and the God to whom they were dedicated as babies.  As parents, however, we must consider that without a good example on our part the chances that they will choice a different path increase greatly.  From our part, then, we must dedicate ourselves and our family to God, live uprightly with God’s help, pray for and with them daily, and then leave the rest to them and to God expecting that ultimately His grace will be sufficient for them, as it is for us.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, in Your goodness you allow us to make our own choices.  This day, we choose You as our God and Savior and ask that You come close to our children, that they may sense Your presence in their lives, and that they, too, choose You this day as their God, their Savior, and Lord of their lives.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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