Joshua 24:13-15 – I have given you (Israel of old) a land for WHICH YOU DID NOT LABOR (it was not the fruit of your work/hands, but mine says the lord), and cities (of refuge) WHICH YOU DID NOT BUILD (city made without hands, 2 Corinthians 5:1, Hebrews 11:10, Acts 7:47-49) and you (Israel) dwell in them (according to Joshua’s day) you eat of the vineyards and olive groves WHICH YOU DID NOT PLANT (not of mans hands/works but of God’s sovereign mercy and grace). Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the Lord….. (Israel was in the same predicament that Adam and Eve in the garden found themselves in, for one Israel was a continuation of their covenant parents in the garden. Their is NO FEAR OF GOD before their/Israel’s eyes Romans 3;18. What then? Are we better than they? NOT AT ALL Romans 3:9…) God’s command to Adam/Israel/us to fear him thus was futile and in vain or without hope, till the last Adam/Christ came and fulfilled that vain hope in Himself, Romans 8:20. To reiterate the text above in Joshua,
“Now therefore, fear the Lord … and serve Him in sincerity and in truth, (because of mankind’s nature the threefold command to fear the Lord, to serve him in sincerity and in truth is impossible in and of ourselves, Luke 18:27). Thus God through Joshua must be prophetically speaking and referring us to Christ himself: For He is the sincere and perfect Way, Truth and the Life John 14:6. ….. And put away the gods (little g) which your fathers served on the other side of the River, (Speaking of the Red Sea in which God had led them from Pharaoh and the bondage of Egypt, through the wilderness and into the physical promised land of Canaan). Serve the Lord! (Man’s mind that is alienated from Him by their wicked works, (Will not, Cannot for the carnal mind is enmity (God’s enemy and hostile toward the true God) against God, for it is NOT subject to the Law/commands of God (Romans 8;20 again) nor indeed can be. So then those in the flesh/Adam CANNOT PLEASE GOD. Romans 8:7-8 Joshua 24:15
And if it seems evil... (and from our nature/will/heart/fleshly mind), that is all it seems, evil to serve the lord) …to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourself (choose the only option that you have, which is your idolatry flesh, which makes a god up in his own mind and says it is my god Exodus 32:4, Acts 7:41, which Israel did, Are we better than they? In no way. Romans 3:9). this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River or the gods of the Am- o- rites in whose land you dwell. Not if, but since our carnal nature only desires/lusts against God, we then will make a god that fits this nature, which is in opposition to his ways. And throughout the bible starting with Adam and Eve, and including all of Israel, proved this to be true, without exception. “But the natural/carnal man (everyone born of Adam nature) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14…..
than choose for yourself (In your limited and inferior strength, UGH) this day whom you will serve, (Their was and presently is only two options man have that are in the natural state of their father Adam, and their resources are only one in nature, which limits them to only serve themselves, and God calls this Dung Philippians 3:8). Man left to himself/herself will always choose their will over Gods, without exception. whether the gods/masters/task masters of the Egyptians/ which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River (in Egyptian bondage and through the wilderness on the way to receive Gods judgments/laws to enter Canaan where they provoked the Lord and he was angry with that generation for 40 years, Hebrews 3:9-10). Our text in Joshua 24:15 was written after Israel entered into the earthly promised land of Canaan Joshua 7:7, which speaks to even after were saved and in the better promised Land of (Christ) (all the promises of God in Christ are yes and amen. 2 Corinthians 1:20) Even in Christ, Paul said in our best state, we can still only serve our flesh, in which God is never satisfied with. What a blow to mankind’s pride even after being redeemed let alone before, For i know that in me (that is in my carnal flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good, i do not find. For the good that i will to do, i do not do, but the evil i will not to do, that i practice. Romans 7:18-19. What Paul is saying is since he had been regenerated by Gods Holy Spirit, he had a will present in him (the holy spirit) pointing him away from his own works and magnifying Christ’s work upon the cross, as his Representative substitute. Before this, his nature was hostile against god and his enemy Romans 8:7. But regardless of this new life in Christ, he still in his fallen nature saw he was still unable to do good with or without gods spirit. Their is none good-but one, God Matthew 19:17, Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19. In other words, Paul’s doctrine was that it was NOT a dual work of God and man, but instead a solo work of God and god alone, that saves and sanctifies. Our will present in us before or after regeneration lies to us and tells us, now that were regenerated by gods spirit, we are able to obey his new covenant commands. According to god’s inspired scripture through Paul, this is not so. Who do we believe man or God Romans 3:4. Before or after receiving god’s spirit, we are completely dependent on whether god gives us his spirit of regeneration or not. Salvation is of the lord. Jonah 2:9 And when he gives his people his spirit, as our brother Paul states, then we are still under grace and must wait on him for his refilling of his spirit as well. This is not what man commonly proclaim, but it is what he teaches his people and since they are both his sheep and his HOUSE, they will serve him in this way, by the spirit god himself provides. All your children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be the peace of your children Isaiah 54:13. Parallel passage: It is written in the prophets (Isaiah 54:13), And they (gods people/his sheep) shall all be taught by God. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me (Christ) John 6:45.
or the gods of the Am o Rites, in whose land you dwell. (Even though they dwelt in the old covenant promised land/A picture of Christ Full Rest Hebrews 4:9, they did not obey god and left some Am O rites etc, in Canaan. And Joshua said, “Alas, Lord GOD, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all – to deliver us into the hand of the Am O Rites, to destroy us? Joshua 7:7” But in mans limited inferior will inherited from his father Adam, this is all he can believe/think and thus erroneously say, proving they are lacking the will to actually choose the one and true God, but in contrast Christ who Joshua is speaking of here (Luke 24:44) says, but “As for Me and My House, We Will Serve The Lord.” In contrast to man truly having only one option and that to serve themselves as the idol they have set up, Christ the head of his own House says Me and my House we will surely serve the lord. For every house (Hebrew-temple old/Moses and new/Christ and his bride) is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house (old covenant temple and people), as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over his own house, whose house we are if (Since) we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. Hebrews 3:4-6 Why do we hold fast our confidence?, Christ himself, because of God’s faithfulness 1 Corinthians 1:8-9, “who will also confirm you to the end, that you will be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” So Moses was faithful, but to god his faithfulness lacked substance i. e. Christ. So god knows who are his and who he will give his faith/faithfulness to so that they will persevere in him. This is called in holy scripture as His Household of Faith. This includes all of gods remnant from the old covenant and all during his kingdom age of his church. So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. Acts 16:31. …especially to the household (hold fast) of faith Galatians 6:10 Now, therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of god… Ephesians 2:19. Reference Joshua 6:17,25 with Rahab the harlot and her Fathers house. This is not speaking to everyone in these peoples family, but everyone whom Christ purchased with his blood from eternity, whom he would impute his work of righteousness by faith to, in other words the household of faith. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered/atoned for. Blessed is the man (in last Adam/Christ which includes all the redeemed of the Lord, including his sons and daughters) to whom the lord does not impute iniquity (mans own filthy rags work of unrighteousness… Psalm 32:1-2 So what are we saying, once again in Joshua 24:15 says Me and my House, we will serve the Lord, because it is Christ the one who built the household of faith by his atoning work alone, that will keep us until the end Jude 1:24. Thus in closing, it is not Joshua in his pride and arrogance saying, “For me and my house we will serve the lord, But it was, and is Christ the Head of his House/Temple/Bride from eternity saying “FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, We Will Serve The Lord” because it was Him in the eternal covenant (Hebrews 13:20) within the trinity that had redeemed his people from their sins, with his precious blood. It was the lamb of god that took his peoples sins away on the cross John 1:29, with the shedding of his blood. The lamb of God that was slain before the foundation of the world, Revelation 13:8 1 Peter 1:20. Thus ALL GLORY GOES TO HIM not us, for he is Worthy of all praise. Amen and Amen.