And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
This was the moment the nation of Israel had been waiting for. This was the land that was promised long ago to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but none of them had lived to see it. Jacob’s sons died in Egypt. This was the generation that had the privilege of stepping foot in that promised land and seeing the fulfillment come to pass, something more glorious than they could have hoped for, a fruitful land for them to live and grow.
So it was time for a fresh start, a renewed commitment, a choice between two paths. It was a time to decide between gods and the God, a time to enter into a committed relationship with the God of Israel or else to forsake Him for something lesser. It was time to get their hearts and motives right and to dedicate themselves totally to God, because the first step is to fear the Lord, to recognize truly who He is and His high place, to remember He is the one that brought them here in the first place.
The next step is to serve in sincerity and truth. It’s about serving God because we want to, not with hypocrisy, not just to benefit, but, out of love, with just a true desire to serve our great and awesome God. It’s about following His truth and His ways. It’s about obedience. It’s surrendering and letting go of the old. It’s about leaving everything else behind so God can be our one and only.
We have a choice to make every day whether we will serve God or neglect Him. We have a choice whether we will praise Him and rejoice in what He’s given us or if we will ignore Him. We have a choice about our attitudes in our service, whether we’re going to obey, and who we’re going to follow. Are we willing to make a lifelong yet day-by-day commitment to our Savior? Do we truly appreciate what He has done for us and live our lives accordingly?