Therefore, fear the Lord and worship him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship the Lord. But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods which your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24: 14, 15)
This was said by Joshua prior to his death. It was stated for the benefit of the Israelites standing there that day, but is worth pondering now.
We get to decide who we will serve, just as they decided who they would serve. The Israelites made a choice. So do we. No one knocked them over the head, or picked them up in some half dream state and tossed them down the right road. They were not forced. They each chose what they would do.
Last week I noted to you that the text tells us that Pharaoh made a decision. It was the wrong one. He continued to make wrong decisions and soon stiffened up so much that he didn’t believe what had been set right in front of him: what he saw. He believed that he could stand against The Lord of Hosts. It cost the lives of the firstborn, including his. He had it within his power to let Israel go. His decision caused unknown destruction to their land, and eventually cost his life and the lives of those who were under his charge. He had grown up being told that he was god. So, he chose to follow after the gods of Egypt; even though The Most High God had made himself known to him accompanied by signs and wonders wrought right before his eyes. It cost him his soul.
There are no signs and wonders being done today; and anyone who says different is delusional, and stands outside of the Word of God. If you think that the Holy Spirit is going to carve out a special salvation and dispensation just for you: you have been duped — and you need to get over it and get right with God. If you’re waiting to be pulled down to the front pew by the Spirit of God thinking that he waits out there just to save you. Wake up, get over yourself, and do what God has already told you to do in his Holy Scriptures. If you’re waiting for Christ to enter your life, to set things straight, stopping by your house while you kneel alone in your closet; it’s time to get up, drop the superstitions and do something to save yourselves.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The truth of God has been given to you just like it was given to the Israelites of old. It comes into your hands as the Holy Scriptures. The Apostles said it is God breathed. The signs that appeared to those others long ago are recounted that you may believe. Heaven settled it all in every minute detail a long time ago. So, what are you waiting for?
Just as the Israelites were allowed to use their own conscious will to make a rational decision based upon the merits of the arguments set before them; so are you. They paid the consequences for making the wrong decisions. And there is absolutely no reason to believe that you and I won’t pay consequences if we should do the same.
Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.
So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away. And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.”
So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.