together to choose
Joshua 24:14-29 Reflection:
It is interesting how we viewed evil behaviour differently in the Old Testament and how we view it today. In the Old Testament it was the behaviour of the community that was important whereas nowadays every man can do what he wants as long as his behaviour affects no one else.
Joshua calls the people together and tells them to make a choice; do they serve the God of Israel or do they serve their idols?
He says quite starkly, “Choose today, whether to serve the God of your ancestors or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live.”
In Ireland we could very easily change that to “Choose today, whether to serve the God of your ancestors or the gods of the secularists in whose land you now live.”
Always in the Old Testament community evil was much viewed much worse than personal evil. If ever you are talking to prison officers they will say that criminals are, in the main, decent people who have made a mistake of two. Often they say of people serving life for murder how much they regret one act of madness.
Community evil is different. It is when God is pushed aside deliberately and consciously and the people decide to follow an evil path.
All the western societies of today have chosen to follow the evils of abortion and secularism. At times we feel powerless to counteract such evil.
What Joshua is pointing out in today's reading is that if each individual decides to stand up for what is good then the society overall shall be on the side of God, but when each individual decides to do evil then we get the society we deserve.
There are plenty of good individuals but the consciousness of society has turned towards evil. That’s why God has to let us go our own way; he respects our free will and choices we make so he has to let us turn 'til we all hit the collective brick wall.
Then when our idols have proved themselves worthless, we will realise there the One True God and come back to him!