When reading Kyle Idleman’s book, gods at War, I was intrigued by his explanation
of Joshua’s last address to the nation of Israel. The account of this is found in Joshua 24. In essence, Joshua gave the Israelites a multiple choice test. This test included three possible answers.
Joshua told his listeners that they had to make a choice. It was time for them to choose a “god” whom they were going to serve. The first choice were the “gods” of Egypt. Joshua told them that they could serve,
the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates Joshua 24:15a (NIV)
Joshua was referring to the false gods that their forefathers served when they lived in bondage in Egypt. I am sure that the Israelites that Joshua was addressing were well aware of these false “gods.” They had been told the story of how God had caused the Egyptians to experience tremendous pain and grief as He sent the various plagues on the people – each of them related to one of their false “gods.”
The second choice that Joshua presented to the people to choose and serve were,
the gods of the Amorites,in whose land you are living Joshua 24:15b (NIV)
Joshua was telling the people that they could choose to serve the false gods of the pagan culture that surrounded them. It is interesting to note here that God intended for them to completely drive these pagan cultures out of their midst but they failed to obey Him completely. The Israelites were constantly being tempted to go along with the culture and worship the false “gods” of society.
The Israelites were given a third choice on this test. This choice was the choice that Joshua had already made. Joshua do the danger of choosing a false “god” to worship. So Joshua told the people that they could be like him.
as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord Joshua 24:15c (NIV)
Notice that Joshua didn’t say that he and his household would try to serve the Lord. He declared that he and his household would serve the true God. There is always a danger to merely try and do something rather than be determined to do it. Trying always leaves room to quit and/or fail.
Today, we have the same choices to make each and everyday of our lives. We can choose to serve the “gods” that we served when we were lost and in bondage to sin. Most of us never want to go back and live in that terrible condition. However, it is tempting to choose the “gods” that we are confronted with each and every day by living in this postmodern, anti-Christian culture. Many of these false “gods” are found when we choose to chase the American Dream characterized by comfort and security from worldly possessions and pleasures. Of course, God wants us to choose to serve Him with all of our hearts, souls, strength and minds.
Most of us know this story about Joshua’s challenge to the Israelites. There are probably several people who are reading this that have Joshua’s bold declaration hanging on a wall in your homes or displayed some other place where you and others can frequently see it. However, I want to share with you what Idleman wrote related to Joshua’s final challenge to the Israelites.
After the author explained how Joshua told the people that it was time for them to choose a god and follow it, he made another statement that caught my attention. Idleman said,
It is time to choose a worldview and let it remake you!
Wow! I don’t know about you but I never saw a relationship between a worldview and a god. However, I believe that he was correct in his statement. When a person chooses a worldview for his/her life, that worldview will remake them. That person will interpret everything in life in line with the worldview he/she has chosen.
Since this is such an important concept to understand, I am going to take the next few weeks and talk about the fundamental components of every worldview. The goal is to not only understand each component but also recognize what a secular or man-centered worldview and a biblical or God-centered worldview believes about each component. By doing this I pray that each of us will choose the correct answer to this all important multiple choice test.