"Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the works the Lord had done for Israel."
What a sad verse. Israel served the Lord....as long as there was someone alive to remind them Who God was and what He had done! Joshua was nearing the end of his life so he gathered all of Israel together to remind them of all God had done to deliver His people. Then he declared this infamous command: "...choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve;...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua knew the people would have a choice. They could serve the gods of the nations around them...or they could serve the one true God. After he delivered his speech and left the people with the challenge ringing in their ears, it says: "So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance."
The people were sent away to the land each tribe had inherited. But they were also sent to the inheritance of their choices.
We each have a choice. And our future will be determined by our choices. As I read these verses again, I began to pray, "Father, let us know Your works. Let us be the ones reminding the generations behind us of Who You are and what You have done. Draw the lines clearly in our minds about Who we are serving. Help us to choose wisely each day...because we will inherit according to our choices."
Israel had been restrained because the elders had seen God at work. They knew His power and His great love. Their hearts were turned towards Him because of it.
We still have a choice and an inheritance today. And one leads to the other.