“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your father served beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your father served in the region beyond 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 24:14–15
Joshua 24:14–15 comes at a pivotal transition point in the history story of God’s people in the Old Testament. Right after this we see Joshua’s death, and that leads into the book of Judges. And we see God’s people in many ways leaderless and turning aside. We’ll actually pray according to Judges 17:21 in that next episode.
But here, before we get into the picture and the Judges, Joshua looks at the people and he says, “Your future, as a people, depends on serving and worshiping the Lord.” It’s true, our future, in so many ways. Individually, your future and my future depends on serving and worshiping the Lord.
Joshua 24:14–15 Reminds Us to Serve God
Today hinges on, what happens today in our lives revolves around who are we serving, who are we worshiping. It’s one of the reasons why, in the prayer guide for this month leading up to the election, one of the instructions today is just to meditate on these verses and then repent of idolatry in your own heart, in your own life. In what ways are we worshiping, serving other gods? And then for us to pray that God would save us from idols in our country.
We must decide if we will serve God or ourselves.
Let’s do that. God, we start this prayer by saying you alone are God. Capital G, God. There are no other gods worthy of our praise, of our worship, worthy of being served. And yet, oh God, we are so prone to idolatry in so many different ways. In our lives, we are prone to worship money and power and sex and success and satisfaction according to the ways of this world.
We’re so prone to exalt ourselves, so prone to enjoy good gifts from your hand and ignore you as the giver of those gifts. We’re prone to exalt sports, we’re prone to exalt politics, we’re prone to exalt so many things in this world. God, we pray that you would, in each of our lives, in my own heart today, in each of our hearts today, uncover idolatry in our hearts and minds, we pray, and bring us to repentance.
This Verse Leads Us to Repent
God, we pray for a spirit of repentance in our country among more and more and more people. As your people, as your church, that we would repent of our sin and idolatry. God, that repentance would spread, that more and more and more people, as we’ve prayed over and over again for spiritual awakening.
Oh God, that more and more people bring, specifically in the United States, would see our need for you, their need for you, the reality of coming judgment, that we’ve prayed according to in Ezekiel, and that we would know that you love and you desire, that you love, and that people would know that you love them in a 2 Peter kind of way, that you desire their repentance, that you desire for them to live, to experience life to the full forever.
Joshua 24:14–15 Leads Us to Pray for Salvation
God, we pray that you would save us from all kinds of idols in our country, that you would bring more and more and more people to repent of sin, repent of idolatry, and turn to you and trust in you, and experience life in you and salvation from you and your love and your mercy and your grace.
God, we pray for the spread of the gospel in our country, that more and more people might say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” God, we pray the gospel would spread through us, through our lives, through our families, through our churches. Help us to faithfully proclaim this gospel, to urgently proclaim this gospel, to lead people to Jesus as Lord, and use our lives today to share the gospel, the good news that Jesus is Lord with somebody else. We pray that you would draw people to yourself, to repentance, to serve you, to find life in worshiping you. Please make it be so. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.