"So honor the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone.
But if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD."
The people replied, "We would never forsake the LORD and worship other gods.
For the LORD our God is the one who rescued us and our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. He performed mighty miracles before our very eyes. As we traveled through the wilderness among our enemies, he preserved us.
It was the LORD who drove out the Amorites and the other nations living here in the land. So we, too, will serve the LORD, for he alone is our God."
Then Joshua said to 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 sins.
If you forsake the LORD and serve other gods, he will turn against you and destroy you, even though he has been so good to you."
But the people answered Joshua, saying, "No, we are determined to serve the LORD!"
"You are accountable for this decision," Joshua said. "You have chosen to serve the LORD.""Yes," they replied, "we are accountable."
"All right then," Joshua said, "destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel."
The people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God. We will obey him alone."
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day at Shechem, committing them to a permanent and binding contract between themselves and the LORD.
Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. As a reminder of their agreement, he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the oak tree beside the Tabernacle of the LORD.
Joshua said to all the people, "This stone has heard everything the LORD said to us. It will be a witness to testify against you if you go back on your word to God."
Then Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.
Soon after this, Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110.
They buried him in the land he had inherited, at Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the leaders who outlived him -- those who had personally experienced all that the LORD had done for Israel.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)