And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: . . .
Joshua knew that his life was drawing to a close. He wants to people of Israel to understand their Godly heritage. He invites them to review with him what God has done for them down through the years. He appeals to the historical record of God’s intervention on their behalf. He recites the works of God through the generations beginning with Abraham until the present day.
Joshua asks them to never forget the value of a Godly national heritage. Neither would Joshua allow them to forget the value of God’s Book of the Law, a document that had been so valuable to him all through his time as a leader of the people. Joshua reminds the people that this rich national heritage is only maintained through the personal choice of the individuals of each generation. Choose this day whom you will serve. . .As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
He says, “There comes a time in the life of each one of you when you have to make your own choice. You have to choose whether you will ally yourself with the Lord God, live for Him, and serve Him, or whether you will go on living for yourselves in neglect of Him and perhaps serving other gods.” If the heritage is to be maintained, a personal choice for God has to be made by every individual. There comes to each of us a time of decision. None of us are excepted from this rule. Sooner or later each one of us will have to make that vital choice.
Though you be born in a nation that, at least sometime in its history, was willing to identify itself as Christian, though you come from a family of disciples of Jesus Christ, yet, you must make that decision on your own. That heritage does not make YOU a Christian.
Joshua was about to step aside. He loved the heritage and history of God in the midst of the people of Israel. He longed to see it continue forever, so it is within this context that he pleads his case before the national assembly that they might love the Lord their God as he did and might continue that heritage into the future. In the same way, Jesus Christ has left us a rich heritage in our country, but we must decide if we will continue it. Each generation decides for themselves, and each individual decides for himself or herself. At the wonderful season of Christmas, I pray you boldly know who your house will serve!