“And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and His voice will we obey” (Joshua 24:24).
Shortly before his death, Joshua called all the tribes to Shechem where he challenged them to choose between their God and the gods which their fathers had served in Egypt and Mesopotamia (v.14). It was a great moment, for the era of conquest was closing and the period of settlement was beginning. It was an important time in the history of Israel when goals and priorities were being set. Joshua knew that he soon would be gone, and he could see problems ahead.
Joshua developed the basis for why the people should serve the Lord God. He reminded them of God’s provision and faithfulness through the recent exodus and their wilderness experience and conquest, as well as the establishment of their nation, but he also knew that the people were fickle and easily led astray. However, three times they vowed: “God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods” (v.16); and “Nay; but we will serve the LORD” (v.21); and as above in our text.
Upon this profession of commitment to the Lord, Joshua made a covenant, set them a statute, and made an ordinance. Then he wrote the agreement in the Book of the Law, set up a stone as a witness to the agreement, and rehearsed that to which they had agreed—“lest (they) deny (their) God” (v.27).
What a solid way of settling an issue; and we can profit from this model: Make sure you understand why you should serve God on any matter of importance that has been wavering; Write the decision down—date it and sign it; Put up a mark of remembrance somewhere in your daily path (a stake, or spike, or something visible); Rehearse, verbally and frequently, what you agreed to “lest ye deny your God.” KBC