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Featured The gross wresting of Joshua 24:15

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by SovereignGrace, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    I put this here, seeing it will become a Cal v. Non-Cal debate eventually...


    How many on here see this verse plasted on keychains, shirts, bumper stickers, church signs, &c? Well, they use this verse for supporting their free will, and that could not be further from the truth. They take one verse outta that whole chapter and that's all they look at. But, let's see what that verse really has to say.

    “Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:14,15 NASB]


    Now, look closely at how Joshua worded this statement. "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord....." So, it appears these ppl do not want to serve the God of Israel. So, the free will believers then jump all over "choose for yourselves today whom you will serve" w/o doing any investigative study into what Joshua is actually saying here. He then says "whether the gods(idols) which your fathers served...or the gods(idols) of the Amorites in whose land you are living." So, he is saying to pick between two idols, door #1 or door #2. Behind both doors are idols. Choose between them, because "It is disagreeable in you sight to serve the Lord." He's giving them the option to serve the idols of their fathers or the Amorites because serving the Lord is disagreeable to them. He closes by saying "but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

    Ppl seem to let their hermeneutics drive their exegesis(in reality they employ eisegesis) and not the other way around.
     
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I have not encountered this verse as a support for free-will theology (but I have encountered the last statement often). But you are right, and this is not a point I noticed before. It still appears to be a choice (if you don't want to serve the Lord then), so I wouldn't count out human responsibility. But as a proof text for free-will theology, I agree with you.

    I think perhaps we all allow our presuppositions to drive our interpretation to some extent.
     
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  3. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    In verse 14 Joshua said "and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord."

    However, he then said if it is disagreeable for you to serve the Lord, choose today who you will serve. The choice Joshua gave them was between the gods(idols) their fathers worshiped or the gods(idols) of the Amorites, the land they were living in at that time.

    Ppl use verse 15 for them to choose between serving God or not. That's not the context. The context is for serving idol 'A' or idol 'B'.
     
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  4. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree. It is assumed the ones facing the choice have already rejected God. The choice is between two idols or false gods. The point, I believe, is that Joshua would serve God.
     
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  5. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    Bingo!!
     
  6. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    TBH, I don't think it is assumed. I think it was a reality they had already rejected Him.

    Ergo, Joshua's proclamation. "You think it is disagreeable to serve the Lord. Now, choose to serve the gods(idols) of your fathers or the gods(idols) of the Amorites, in whose land you are now dwelling." They were given fully to idolatry at this time. Joshua was saying "You can choose between these idols and I and my family will serve the Lord."
     
    #6 SovereignGrace, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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  7. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    I'm not seeing that at all. How do you know they were fully given to idolatry?

    Did you forget verse 16?

    And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

    And verse 17?

    17 For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:

    and further down...

    21 And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord.

    22 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.

    So we see from the people's response (Context is key my friend) that Joshua was giving them an opportunity to choose between Yahweh and idols.
     
    #7 JonShaff, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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  8. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    Yet, Israel continually fell into idolatry. They continually broke the covenant that was betwixt them and God.
     
  9. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    But concerning this generation, the ones that were younger than 20 when the events of Kadesh Barnea took place, what scriptures do you have to back up your claim? I'm not saying you are right or wrong, i'm saying show me the scriptures that say this generation was fully given to idolatry.

    After that, please address the rest of my post. Thanks brother!
     
  10. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    Well, Joshua told them to put away the gods their fathers worshiped, so that tells me they were given to idolizing them, too.

    Now, Jesus stated "they praise Me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me." They would say one thing and do another. They said they would serve Him, but they fell back into idolatry.
     
  11. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    They did say they would serve the Lord, but did they follow through with it? No. They said it with their lips only, not their hearts.
     
  12. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    But we are talking about what Joshua was saying, telling them to decide whom they were going to serve. What happened in reality doesn't quite affect Joshua's imperative, unless you take what you know happened with Israel's history and impose it into the narrative you just quoted.
     
  13. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    Then Joshua said to the people, "You will not be able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgression or your sins. "If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you." The people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve the LORD." Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the LORD, to serve Him." And they said, "We are witnesses." "Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel." The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God and we will obey His voice." So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. Joshua said to all the people, "Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God." Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his inheritance.[Joshua 24:19-28]

    They did say they will serve the Lord and obey His voice, but they did not. Joshua even erected a stone as a witness to their oath. An oath they did not keep.
     
  14. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    Whether or not they kept the oath is irrelevant to your OP. Joshua WAS giving them a choice between serving God or Serving Idols.
     
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  15. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    He told them to choose between idol 'A' or idol 'B'. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. That's the context.
     
  16. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    That makes absolutely no sense..."Choose idol "a" or "b""

    Ok, Joshua we choose to serve the Lord....

    22 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.
    24 And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.
     
  17. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    And I am saying they said we will serve the Lord, but those were hollow words, seeing all the idolatry the Jews partook of.

    The same Jews that said 'Hosanna!' a few days later said 'crucify Him.'

    So, by them saying and not doing is the same as not serving Him.
     
  18. JonShaff

    JonShaff Fellow Servant
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    and i already addressed this...

    You're basing this conclusion on information you already know.

    Joshua was still giving them an ultimatum...Choose God or Choose Idols

    They said, "We choose God".

    They really chose idols

    That still doesn't detract from the fact that Joshua DID say "Choose between God or idols." Just because He mentions two different sets of idols doesn't negate the fact that he said, "Choose God"
     
  19. MennoSota

    MennoSota Well-Known Member
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    Note that Joshua tells the people that by their own efforts they are unable to serve the Lord. The people of Israel mistakenly thought that they could choose to follow God, but Joshua tells them they cannot be successful. They will fall short. Israel's hope must be in the fact that despite their failure, God had chosen them.

    Joshua 24
    [19]Then Joshua warned the people, “You are not able to serve the lord, for he is a holy and jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins.
     
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  20. SovereignGrace

    SovereignGrace Well-Known Member
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    Joshua is showing them they will not choose God, but idols. He puts their feet to the fire when he said “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins."[vs 19] This was after they had said “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!"[vs 16] They had already done this. They had already forsakened Him and was given wholly to idolatry(the reason why I say wholly is because I don't think anyone worships an idol half-heartedly).

    Then, in vs 21 they said “No! We will serve the Lord.” And then he said “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.” Now, did they choose to serve the Lord? By word they did. But by deed they did not. So, they did not choose to serve the Lord, but idols. Which brings us back to vs 15 and serving betwixt idol 'A' and idol 'B'.

    The reason why I brought this up is because I am preaching through the first 3 chapters of Hosea(maybe more if the Lord leads me to) and this shows how much Israel was given to idolatry, which was typified as harlotry through Gomer.
     
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