Joshua has gathered the people of Israel … for his last Sermon! This great man of God has brought Israel to a place of commitment once again. “Will you serve the Lord, or will you serve the (still remaining) idols of the land?””
“And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.” Joshua 24:21-22
“And the people said unto Joshua … we will serve the LORD.
But watch Joshua’s response …
“Ye are witnesses AGAINST YOURSELVES that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him.”
Look what is being implied, no … definitely stated:
If you promise to serve God … you are obligated (in His Eyes) to do so!
You make yourself liable to His blessings or His chastisements … based on that promise!
Now for Israel … NOT to serve the Lord (after such a bold vow) is sin (sin against God of course) against themselves!
This is staggering! “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses AGAINST YOURSELVES that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him.”
Even the people, the whole congregation, agreed: “And they said, We are witnesses.”
Let’s take this principle and apply it to Christians living in the Church Age, the Dispensation of the Grace of God.
If I promise God that I will tithe, for example, does He hold me responsible to obey Him?
If I promise to be faithful in Church attendance?
To love and support my Pastor?
To give monthly to that missionary in New Guinea?
Yes, yes and yes!
Even if I commit to not sin (to refrain) in a particular area, to “give that habit up” … to the glory of God?
Yes again, we are responsible for our decisions!
Listen to Ecclesiastes 5:6 on NOT keeping one’s promises to God. “Wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”
“Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” Ecclesiastes 5:5, and a “vow” is a “promise,” a commitment made to Almighty God!
DO what you have promised!
Or else you’re being a witness against yourself!
What a thought!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
1st Peter 4:14, in part … “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.”
1st Corinthians 11:31 also … “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” Not be judged of God!
Think about it.