Jos 24:15 “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: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
As Christians, it is sometimes hard for us to imagine how it could seem evil to serve God. The root meaning of the word translated as evil in this instance carries the idea of not being good for anything. There are many examples in the Bible of God’s children deciding that truly giving service to God was not good for anything. This attitude prompted them to complain against God and against His servants. It caused them to seek a king to rule over them similar to the fashion of the people around them who did not honor the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. Even immediately before Jesus was crucified, the people declared that they had no king other than Caesar.
Are we guilty of this same attitude today? Do we only serve God when it is convenient for us? Before we act or speak, do we stop to consider whether or not it is God-honoring? Our service to Him should arise from a thankful heart. We should always seek to bring to Him our first fruits, and only the best of those! Service to God should never come as an afterthought. Even though we might try to deny it, when we bring this type of half-hearted service to God, we are declaring that serving Him seems evil to us. We declare with our actions that there are things in life that we hold as being more beneficial than serving God.
Joshua told the people if they weren’t going to serve God, then to feel free to just pick whichever god they pleased. The intent here was not that serving any other was okay, but rather that if we are not serving the True and Living God, then one false god is just as good as the next. There is no help or strength in any other.
May He grant us the grace to be as determined as Joshua. May we have the courage and boldness to declare that we will serve the Lord regardless of what others do!