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To Serve the Lord or Not. Joshua did. POWER BLOG #24 14


The name Joshua is having a moment, especially if you are an American teenager. Did you know it was the third most popular name given to boys born fifteen years ago?  A big reason that Joshua or “Josh” is popular is because of the man of biblical fame.

In the Old Testament, Joshua was preparing to die when he assembled the leaders of Israel together in order to give them a parting instruction. That was around 1245 BC, more than twelve centuries before the time of Jesus. But what Joshua proclaimed that day has become a timeless, favorite scripture verse for many:

  • Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) “… choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

As for a quick backstory, Moses was the mentor of Joshua. Around 1300 BC, God used him to miraculously deliver Israel out of Egypt, where they had been enslaved as a nation for 400 years.

On their journey from Egypt to Canaan—the land that God had promised to Israel—when the multitude arrived at the base of the Red Sea, you can imagine Moses saying, “God, we have a problem!”  The waters were too deep to traverse to the other side. In addition, the Pharaoh of Egypt who allowed Israel to leave had changed his mind. He was coming after them with his army!

God instructed Moses to “stretch out his hands” over the Red Sea and the Jews, including Joshua, watched the power of God open the Red Sea so the people could cross over as if they were strolling on a walking trail.

Yet when the armies of Egypt arrived and attempted to cross, the Red Sea collapsed in on them, reducing Israel’s threat assessment to zero.

Joshua became prominent when Moses later gathered together twelve men to sneak into Canaan and case it out. These “spies” could have been considered the first-ever Special Forces Unit of Israel.

Forty days later when these men returned, they issued a report to Moses. They all agreed that Canaan was a phenomenal place; the Bible described it as a land so lush that it was “flowing with milk and honey.” However, the Canaanite people living there were strong and the cities were fortified. Ten of the spies basically said, “forget it, we can’t take ‘em.”

But not Joshua and Caleb. Here was their report to Moses:

  • Numbers 13:30 (KJV) “Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”

Upon hearing from Joshua and Caleb, the ten negative spies falsified their reports and rallied the people, to the point that Moses let the mob rule and decided not to go into Canaan.

Yet God was not in on that decision and spoke forcefully to Moses. See the book of Numbers, chapter 14 for the full discourse, but here is a summary of what God said;

  • “How long shall I put up with you evil people who murmur against me. I delivered you out of Egypt, through Red Sea and promised to give Canaan to you. And you reject my plan? As a result, all of you adults will wander in this desert over the next 40 years and die off. Then your children will be led into Canaan … by Joshua and Caleb.”

The book of Joshua details exactly how this happened.

In closing, years later our hero Joshua is getting old. A new generation of Israelites has long since settled into Canaan but unfortunately, they seem to have already forgotten the miraculous means that God used to get them there. That’s when Joshua, before he died, famously issued this exhortation:

  • Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) “… choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

So now some 3000 years later, what about you and me? Have you seen the goodness of God in your life? Have you seen Him move and guide and deliver you through adversities?

I certainly can point to times of hardships and difficulties that God has delivered me through and some tremendous blessings that flowed afterwards as a result. What about you?

I have long-since chosen to serve the Lord and I implore you, if you have not done so already, to make the same choice and voice the same declaration as Joshua. Choose to serve the Lord. Choose to lead your house to make the same decision. Lead by your words and more importantly, by your on-going actions.

God is able and willing to guide us through this life, to navigate adversities and He wants us to seek Him, praise Him, and serve Him, whether in a period of prosperity or adversity.

God the Father sent his son Jesus Christ to earth some 2000 years ago, announcing Him through angels as the “Savior of the World.” Even as it was wise for Joshua and others to believe in and follow the promises and power of God in their day, the wisest thing we can do is to submit our lives to Jesus Christ and follow His lead in our day. I encourage you to read the New Testament and learn all about Him.

So choose this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. We will follow Jesus. That is the greatest choice ever!


Here is a video version of this blog:


 Phil Henry is a financial adviser and also an ordained minister who founded and produces short videos and blog posts at Phil Henry Power Gospel.  

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