“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve.”
The well-known part of this statement of Joshua is “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Of course, that is well and good; but think about the first part of his statement. Joshua says to the people of Israel,
“Long ago your ancestors, including Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods.” (Joshua 24:2, HCSB)
Joshua reminds them that essentially the Lord chose them and brought the people out from the region beyond the Euphrates River when he took their father, Abraham. The Lord says,
“I gave you a land you did not labor for, and cities you did not build, though you live in them; you are eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.” (Joshua 24:13, HCSB)
“Therefore (because of this truth), fear the Lord and worship Him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship Yahweh.” (Joshua 24:14)
Don’t only do what your mother and father do, worshiping a god — or the Lord GOD — who grand-dad and grand-ma worship. Don’t only do what everyone else is doing. Make a decision for yourself. Mom and Dad’s salvation is not yours.
If it seems evil in your own mind to worship the Lord God, then don’t. But if you decide this, then actively choose the god you are going to follow. Don’t stumble along in life; make a choice. Don’t just do what others have done before you, mindlessly going through the motions of worship. Whatever your decision, make it your own.
Then Joshua tells the people his own choice.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”