August 30, 2012

Old and New

Joshua 24:14-28

“Choose … this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
—Joshua 24:15


Joshua seems to offer Israel a choice between two bad things: to serve the old gods of their ancestors in Mesopotamia and Egypt or the new gods of the local peoples in Canaan.

But Joshua is not really offering a choice between old and new—both groups are false gods. Having reminded Israel of God’s mighty deeds, he now challenges the people to acknowledge and serve the Lord in the land God has given them.

In effect, Joshua says, “You may choose to live like your ancestors or neighbors did, but here in God’s promised land, I won’t!”

Joshua’s presentation here reveals a sad truth: God’s people have great difficulty giving up their old ways of life and resisting the temptations of their new surroundings. The “old” gods are comfortable. The “new” gods that are still worshiped by their neighbors are distracting and alluring. Yet they are all empty.

The God of Abraham, the Father of Jesus Christ, is the only true God. He has shown himself to us again and again, especially in his Son. His Spirit blesses us even now. Trust in the Lord to truly bless your family, your work, your mind, and your eternal future. Don’t depend on empty promises. The choice is clear!

“For health and strength and daily bread, I thank you, Lord.” Keep me faithful, for you chose me before I could see you clearly. In Christ’s name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!