Joshua asks the people twice if they will indeed serve God alone. He wants to be sure they understand the importance of their decision and that they are sure about it. After two positive affirmations, Joshua tells them to “throw away foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to God and obey him” (verse 24). He knows that if they hang onto those idols, eventually they will turn back to them. Joshua knows the importance of relying on God alone in the pursuit of a life of love, mercy, justice, and compassion.
We too face the same choice. While we sometimes have physical idols like that new car or the latest fashion, most of our idols are things like pride, judging, envy, gossip, and control. We too must work at ‘throwing’ them out. But we cannot do it alone. Only with God’s help do we begin to stand a chance against these idols.
As we choose God alone to serve, we are choosing to enter into a covenant relationship with God. In this relationship we choose to serve God alone and to love God above all else. For His part, God strengthens, encourages, and enables us to grow closer to Him through prayer, study, worship, fellowship, and other encounters with Him. God also leads us to serve, give to, care for, and love others as an extension of that loving, covenant relationship that we have with Him. Loving God and loving neighbor just go hand in hand. Loving God and loving neighbor are two greatest calls upon our lives.
Scripture reference: Joshua 24: 19-25