Choosing the God of Life

Whom and what have we really given our life to?   A multitude of choices confront us each day. God calls to us, yet  so many other voices make their claim on us as well.

On the edge of the Promised Land, the Israelites were confronted with a decision.  Having wandered in the wilderness forty long years, they had reached  the  land which God promised, while they were still slaves in Egypt.  A land God said,  “Flowed with milk and honey.”   Now they had a decision to make.  

Who would they be in this new land? Moses was gone. It was up to Joshua to lead the people.  Forty years in the wilderness had shown Joshua a fickle side of human nature, when it came to following God. So, Joshua gathered the people of Israel. He reminded them that they were the people of promise, but warned them not to pretend to follow the Lord. It would be through this wandering people that God, would be made known to the world. Were they ready to accept their calling? Then Joshua demanded, “Choose you this day whom you will serve, God or some other . . . but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Joshua and his family were acutely aware that in God, were the answers to life and death. God was their source of hope and promise. Always, there would be false god’s beckoning. Popular culture would challenge their belief in a God of justice and mercy. Care for the orphan, widow and immigrant would be mocked and scorned. Enticements would encourage them to forsake God, but their decision was made. They would serve the Lord. They would not let any false gods usurp God’s place.

Centuries have passed since that long ago day, yet each of us faces the same decision which Joshua and his family did. Our life is written of such choices. “Choose you this day whom you will serve, God or some other . . .” Joshua 24:15

Looking at our life, our beliefs and our values, how close do they match God’s vision of  justice, compassion, mercy, kindness, humility  and love?  What do our social media postings, our politics, our actions and our words say of our values?  Today is a good day, to reexamine both faith and values. Are we choosing the God of life and promise?

*An earlier version of this post was published as “In a Multitude of Choices, Choosing the God of Life,” on August 30, 2015