When the people quickly agreed, he challenged them further, essentially daring them to try to live according to the Law. And the people passionately responded that they would worship the Lord God.
But when Joshua challenged them again and said, “Then get rid of the foreign gods that are among you and turn your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel,” they didn’t admit to having foreign gods, nor did they commit to get rid of them. Instead, they said, “We will worship the Lord our God and obey Him.”
Maybe that statement was meant to sincerely convey complete submission and obedience, but I find it significant that they didn’t mention getting rid of their foreign gods. They didn’t even say, “We will ONLY worship the Lord our God.”
In similar fashion, we are tempted today to put Him on the mantle right alongside all our other gods. As long as He doesn’t get in the way of our pursuit of money, fame, beauty, power, or entertainment, we’re happy to worship Him. But we aren’t willing to clear the shelf and let God be the center of our universe, the One around whom everything in our life revolves.
As Joshua warned the Israelites, He is a jealous God. He is not interested in being one of many loves of our life, any more than our spouse would care to be one of many.
What have you given a place of honor beside Christ that needs to go? What idols do you need to smash for good?