When the mighty prophet Joshua had grown old and was about to go down into the grave after the Israelites had passed through much affliction and were settling in their promised land, he was inspired to speak to his people. The profound essence of what Joshua strove to communicate is found in Joshua 24:15, “…choose ye this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
The choice to which Joshua referred was the choice between the true God and false idols, or in other words the choice between eternal life and the temporal world of the moment, the choice between good and evil. That choice remains before each of us this day and every day throughout our mortal probation. It is the choice of overcoming the foolishness of the world through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ or allowing ourselves to be overcome through such worldly foolishness. Shall we live by faith or by foolishness? That is the question!
Some may wonder, what is meant by “the foolishness of the world?” The answer to that question is a never ending and ever expanding list of temptations fostered by the adversary of all mankind. One modern example is inappropriate use of the Internet. Yes, the Internet is a worldwide blessing in countless ways, but it can also be pornographic, misleading and addictive. Some things on the Internet can be likened to connecting a raw sewage line to our drinking water—utter foolishness!
On the other hand, one of the ways we see faith in Christ in action is through acts of Christ like charity. We don’t have to look far around us to observe such acts of Christian kindness, which are based on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As we approach our national holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas is there anything that we can do to bless and bring joy to others in our community such as families with children and limited resources? Is there an elderly individual in our neighborhood who could use a helping hand? Is there someone moving into or out of our neighborhood that could use our assistance?
Most likely we are all of part faith and part foolishness. The challenge for each of us throughout our lives upon this earth is to nourish the faith and weed out the foolishness within us. Would that we all might find the faith to pray and read the scriptures daily, thereby seeking and receiving God’s guidance to nourish the gardens of faith planted in our hearts.
In fine, it cannot be said all the ways prepared by our adversary to deceive, diminish, and destroy us, but it can be said that our Heavenly Father and His Son have prepared the way of faith by which we may be spared and saved from all such foolishness. We have all been blessed with the agency to choose the path we will follow for ourselves.
As admonished by Joshua of old, may we each choose this day whom we will serve: the Son of the Living God through acts of faith, or the enemy of all that is holy through acts of foolishness.
Bill Sullivan is a resident and guest columnist.