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May 4, Day #125 - “Choose You This Day …”

The major theme that resounds through all of our passages today is making wise choices because our choices have consequences. In Joshua 23-24, we see that Joshua is “about to go the way of all the earth” (verse 14), and he testifies, “you know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” (verse ‭14‬). Based on two lines of evidence, his own experience and the truth of God’s Word – both strong witnesses – this is Joshua’s testimony of God’s faithfulness, and it is consistent with David’s later testimony (cf., Psalm 55:19) - “God is enthroned from of old; [He] does not change.” When a man or woman who has served the Lord faithfully for most of his or her life proclaims a testimony like this, it is not merely a sweet little maxim of recommendations for good living and a subsequent, future eulogy. Joshua (also David, and others) is saying that, after a lifelong pilgrimage on this earth, he has tested the truth of the Word of God and its principles, and he has found it to be fully reliable and certifiably trustworthy. He is saying that God and His Word can be trusted to guide us effectively through this life, and if we follow this path, we will come to the right end. “But,” says Joshua, “if you violate the covenant of the LORD your God … you will quickly perish” (verse 16). When I was a teenager, my Dad often warned me about the pitfalls of this life by saying, “A word to the wise is sufficient.” Evidence within and apart from the text of Scripture testifies to the veracity of choosing obedience over disobedience to God. Only a fool would choose to ignore a danger sign that points to the “Dead Man’s Curve” ahead. Joshua's theme is “Be strong and very courageous …,” which is quoted from Moses and often repeated (cf., Deuteronomy 31:6, 7, and 23; Joshua 1:6, 7. 9; and 18; Joshua 10:25). He warns them “not to associate with the other nations” (verse 7), and he tells them to “fear the LORD and serve Him with all faithfulness (verse 14). For this reason, chapter 24 presents a review and a renewal of God’s covenant with the people. The book closes with Joshua’s death and a note that Joseph’s bones were brought up from Egypt and buried in the place of his inheritance.

In Psalm 55:12-23, we see that David chooses to trust in the Lord - knowing that God is trustworthy – even when his former friend is not. He says, “My companion attacks his friends; he violates his covenant, and though his speech is as smooth as butter, his words are drawn swords” (verses 20-21). Like Joshua, David is reminding us to make the conscious choice to be faithful to God and not to go astray – to “cast our cares on the LORD Who sustains us and will never let us fall” (verse 22).

In John 3:22-36, we read John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus. John the Baptist openly admitted that he was not the Christ, and he stated clearly that the One Who came after him was “greater” (verse 30). He “is from above and is above all” (verse 31), and he points out that “whoever rejects Him will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (verse 36). Here, John shows the difference between choosing to trust in Jesus as God’s Son and choosing not to - the consequences will be drastic for everyone who refuses to accept Him because they remain under the wrath of God. From each of these testimonies – Joshua, David, and John the Baptist - we can see that our choices are actively - not passively – made. Thus, we must train our minds to seek the right thing, make the right choice, and ask for God’s help - like David did - seeking it “evening, morning, and noon” (cf., Psalm 55: 17). God is worthy of our trust because He is immutable - He never changes. Today we see that truth - which is never inconsistent - is from above; it comes from God Who is the Source of truth. This is how David could say, “as for me, I trust in You [God]” (verse 23). It’s why John asserts that “whoever believes in the Son has eternal life” (verse 36). And it’s the basis for Joshua’s challenge that we “choose this day whom we will serve” (cf., Joshua 24:15). Life, sustenance, and all good things flow from the truth of God, but disaster and death await those whose faith is misplaced.


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