Joshua / chapter 24 (read the chapter)
Here we find Joshua’s famous words to the Israelites: “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (vs 14-15)
This is still (and probably always will be) incredible to me. We serve a sovereign God who cares more about our freedom to choose than He does about being served. In this chapter, He took the Israelites on a litany of the past, reminiscing about all the things He had done to bless them and secure their future. After laying that out, He doesn’t demand worship. He doesn’t stipulate subservience. No, He asks for their willing cooperation. He asks for their choice. He says, in effect, Will you marry Me? And then graciously allows them the option of saying either yes or no.
So, what does God want most from us? He wants us to choose. Certainly, He wants us to choose to be with Him forever! But He won’t force that upon us. He is so committed to our freedom that He will let us have the final say about our relationship—even if that should mean that He would lose us forever. He loves us that much.