From Eternity Past


The Importance of Right Choice

The aged leader urged the people to consider what he had set before them. If it seemed evil to serve Jehovah, the source of power, the fountain of blessing, let them that day choose whom they would serve—“the gods which your fathers served,” from whom Abraham was called out, “or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell.” EP 375.1

These last words were a keen rebuke to Israel. The gods of the Amorites had not been able to protect their worshipers. Because of their debasing sins, that wicked nation had been destroyed, and the good land which they once possessed had been given to God's people. What folly for Israel to choose the deities for whose worship the Amorites had been destroyed! EP 375.2

“As for me and my house,” said Joshua, “we will serve Jehovah.” The same holy zeal that inspired the leader's heart was communicated to the people. His appeals called forth the unhesitating response, “God forbid that we should forsake Jehovah, to serve other gods.” EP 375.3

Before there could be any permanent reformation, the people must feel their utter inability in themselves to render obedience to God. While they trusted their own righteousness, it was impossible for them to secure pardon; they could not meet the claims of God's perfect law, and it was in vain that they pledged themselves to serve God. Only by faith in Christ could they secure pardon of sin and receive strength to obey God's law. They must trust wholly in the merits of the promised Saviour. EP 375.4

With deep earnestness they once more reiterated their pledge of loyalty: “The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice will we obey.” EP 376.1

“So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem... . So Joshua let the people depart, every man unto his inheritance.” EP 376.2

His work was done. He had “wholly followed the Lord.” The noblest testimony to his character as a leader is the history of the generation that had enjoyed his labors: “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua.” EP 376.3