Joshua 24:15
And if it seem evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) The Amorites.—Here used generically for the inhabitants of Canaan.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.—For Joshua himself the service of Jehovah on earth was nearly over. He pledges his “house” to the same service. What is known of his family? It is a singular fact that no descendant of the great conqueror, no member of his household, is named in the Bible. In the genealogies of Ephraim in 1 Chronicles 7, Joshua’s name is the last in his own line (Joshua 24:27 : “Non his son, Jehoshuah his son”). I cannot but regard the silence of Scripture under this head as profoundly significant. It is one more analogy between the Joshua of the Old Testament and his great Antitype in the Gospel: “whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:6). The house of Joshua embraces all the faithful servants of the Lord.

Joshua 24:15. Seem evil — Unjust, unreasonable, or inconvenient. Choose ye — Not that he leaves them to their liberty, whether they would serve God or idols; for Joshua had no such power himself, nor could give it to any other; and both he and they were obliged by the law of Moses to give their worship to God only, and to forbear all idolatry in themselves, and severely to punish it in others; but his words are a powerful insinuation, which implies that the worship of God is so highly reasonable, necessary, and beneficial, and the service of idols so absurd, vain, and pernicious, that if it were left free for all men to take their choice, every man in his right senses must needs choose the service of God before that of idols. And he provokes them to bind themselves faster to God by their own choice. We will serve the Lord — But know this, if you should all be so base and brutish as to prefer senseless and impotent idols before the true and living God, it is my firm purpose that I will, and my children and servants (as far as I can influence them) shall be, constant and faithful to the Lord. And that, whatever others do. They that resolve to serve God must not start at being singular in it. They that are bound for heaven must be willing to swim against the stream, and must do, not as most do, but as the best do.24:15-28 It is essential that the service of God's people be performed with a willing mind. For LOVE is the only genuine principle whence all acceptable service of God can spring. The Father seeks only such to worship him, as worship him in spirit and in truth. The carnal mind of man is enmity against God, therefore, is not capable of such spiritual worship. Hence the necessity of being born again. But numbers rest in mere forms, as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice; but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid plainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did. Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do. And no one can behave himself as he ought in any station, who does not deeply consider his religious duties in family relations. The Israelites agree with Joshua, being influenced by the example of a man who had been so great a blessing to them; We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men do, by their influence, if zealous in religion. Joshua brings them to express full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord. They must come off from all confidence in their own sufficiency, else their purposes would be in vain. The service of God being made their deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemn covenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting manner Joshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, their blood would be upon their own heads. Though the house of God, the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which we have uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would bear witness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, that he will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him. God alone can give grace, yet he blesses our endeavours to engage men to his service.Choose - Service of God in sincerity and truth can only result from a free and willing allegiance of the heart. This accordingly is what Joshua invites, as Moses had done before him (Deuteronomy 30:15 ff). 14-28. Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth—After having enumerated so many grounds for national gratitude, Joshua calls on them to declare, in a public and solemn manner, whether they will be faithful and obedient to the God of Israel. He avowed this to be his own unalterable resolution, and urged them, if they were sincere in making a similar avowal, "to put away the strange gods that were among them"—a requirement which seems to imply that some were suspected of a strong hankering for, or concealed practice of, the idolatry, whether in the form of Zabaism, the fire-worship of their Chaldean ancestors, or the grosser superstitions of the Canaanites. If it seem evil; unjust, unreasonable, or inconvenient.

Choose you this day whom ye will serve: not that he leaves them to their liberty, whether they would serve God or idols; for Joshua had no such power or liberty himself, nor could give it to any other; and both he and they were obliged by the law of Moses to give their worship to God only, and to forbear all idolatry in themselves, and severely to punish it in others; but it is a rhetorical and powerful insinuation, whereby he both implies that the worship of God is so highly reasonable, so necessary and beneficial, and the service of idols is so absurd, and vain, and pernicious, that if it were left free to all men to make their choice, every man in his right wits must needs choose the service of God before that of idols; and provokes them to bind themselves faster to God by their own choice. See such manner of speeches in Ruth 1:8,15 1 Kings 18:21.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord; but know this, if you should all be so base and brutish, as to prefer senseless and impotent idols before the true and living God, it is my firm purpose, that I will, and my children and servants (as far as I can influence them) shall, be constant and faithful to the Lord. And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord,.... Irksome and troublesome, a burden, a weariness, and not a pleasure and delight:

choose you this day whom you will serve; say if you have found a better master, and whose service will be more pleasant and profitable:

whether the gods your fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood; the river Euphrates; these may bid rid rest for antiquity, but then they were such their fathers had relinquished, and for which undoubtedly they had good reason; and to take up with the worship of these again was to impeach their wisdom, judgment, and good sense:

or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but then these were such as could not preserve their worshippers in the land, or the Israelites had not dwelt in it, and therefore no dependence could be had upon them for future security. The Amorites are only mentioned, because they were a principal nation, some of which dwelt on one side Jordan, and some on the other, and indeed there were of them in the several parts of the land:

but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord; be your choice as it may be: this was the resolution of Joshua, and so far as he knew the sense of his family, or had influence over it, could and did speak for them; and which he observes as an example set for the Israelites to follow after; he full well knowing that the examples of great personages, such as governors, supreme and subordinate, have great influence over those that are under them,

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: {g} but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

(g) This teaches us that if all the world would go from God, yet every one of us particularly is bound to cleave to him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. choose you this day] Like Elijah afterwards on Carmel (1 Kings 18:21), the Hebrew leader challenges the people with the utmost freedom to decide once for all that day whom they would serve. He gives them their choice between the old worship of Penates or household gods practised by their fathers, and the Baal-worship of the Amorites, if they would not serve Jehovah, Who had brought them out of Egypt.

as for me and my house] Whatever may be the decision of the people, Joshua tells them what he and his family are resolved to do. “I and my house will serve Jehovah.” Compare the words of the Lord respecting Abraham, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment,” Genesis 18:19.Verse 15. - Or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell. There is a reductio ad absurdum here. "Had ye served those gods ye would never have been here, nor would the Amorites have been driven out before you." The reference to the gods of their fathers seems to be intended to suggest the idea of an era long since lost in the past, and thrown into the background by the splendid deliverances and wonders which Jehovah had wrought among them. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Or, Jehovah. Here speaks the sturdy old warrior, who had led them to victory in many a battle. He invites them, as Elijah did on another even more memorable occasion, to make their choice between the false worship and the true, between the present and the future, between the indulgence of their lusts and the approval of their conscience. But as for himself, his choice is already made. No desire to stand well with the children of Israel obscures the clearness of his vision. No temptations of this lower world pervert his sense of truth. The experience of a life spent in His service has convinced him that Jehovah is the true God. And from that conviction he does not intend to swerve. In days when faith is weak and compromise has become general, when the sense of duty is slight or the definitions of duty vague, it is well that the spirit of Joshua should be displayed among the leaders in Israel, and that there should be those who will take their stand boldly upon the declaration," But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The third great act of God for Israel was his giving up the Amorites into the hands of the Israelites, so that they were able to conquer their land (Numbers 21:21-35), and the frustration of the attack made by Balak king of the Moabites, through the instrumentality of Balaam, when the Lord did not allow him to curse Israel, but compelled him to bless (Numbers 22-24). Balak "warred against Israel," not with the sword, but with the weapons of the curse, or animo et voluntate (Vatabl.). "I would not hearken unto Balaam," i.e., would not comply with his wish, but compelled him to submit to my will, and to bless you; "and delivered you out of his (Balak's) hand," when he sought to destroy Israel through the medium of Balaam (Numbers 22:6, Numbers 22:11).
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