And if it seem evil to you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve…
I. RELIGION IS VOLUNTARY.
1. The choice, how ever, is not between religion and no religion. Man is a religious being. Religion is as necessary to his soul as breathing is to his body. To be religious is a necessity, but the kind of religion adopted is a matter of choice. In selecting religion, care should be taken to understand fully the merits of each. The antiquity and popularity of a system, though they show that such a system ought to be examined, are in themselves no arguments in favour of its truth. Truth is beautiful though hated and hooted by the majority of men. The diamond glitters however mean the setting. Like the diamond and the star, truth is beautiful everywhere and always.
2. The choice of religion is limited as to time: "Choose you this day." The present time is God's time and ours: "Now is the acceptable time." We know that; but as for to-morrow, as for the future, we know nothing.
II. RELIGION IS PERSONAL. He says, "Choose you." It cannot be done by proxy. Every man must come to God himself.
III. RELIGION IS POWERFUL. Religion is life; life is example; and example is almost omnipotent. The smallest pebble cast into the quiet pool causes a series of undulations, and the smallest of these leaves its impression, for millions of ages, on the shore; so does the feeblest soul of man, renewed by grace, make a series of moral impressions on the world — impressions whose record will be legible throughout all eternity.
(Evan Lewis, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: If it seems evil to you to serve Yahweh, choose this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh."