Discover His heart: He blesses those who will serve Him today and every day
I’m sorry to bring this up, but it’s been 31 days since we made our New Year’s Resolutions, our big plans to make big changes for the New Year. How’s it going? Sometimes our intentions are great, but our resolve, not so much. Joshua has thrown down the gauntlet for us today – we have been challenged! Today, whom will we serve?
“So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies. Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.” (21:43-45) The Lord knows how to keep a commitment.
@ Joshua 24
Joshua, now 110 years old, called all the leadership of the tribes of Israel to Shechem to present one last challenge to God’s people. After a brief history of the faithfulness of God, Joshua presented his challenge, “So fear 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 refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve…But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” (14-15) There, he said it! The line has been drawn, the die has been cast, the gauntlet has been thrown.
In this scripture, the term serve means to admire or follow someone worshipfully. Just like the Israelites who affirmed that they would serve the Lord Jehovah, our intentions every day are to serve the Lord. I heard a television pastor ask his congregation one Sunday morning as he got up to speak, “Did you serve the Lord this week?” The large congregation responded “yes” with enthusiasm. The pastor quickly asked, “Well, what did you do?” Dead silence filled the sanctuary.
“Choose today whom you will serve.” We can’t rest on yesterday’s resolve to serve the Lord because today is a new day with new challenges. The idols we are tempted to serve may be different than those of Joshua’s day, but they consume our thoughts and time just the same leaving little room for worshiping the Lord and reading His Word. They come in many shapes and sizes: our jobs, our children – yes, even our children – pleasures, sleep, community involvement, etc. Of course, these are not bad things, they just aren’t God.
If the words to the old Bob Dylan song are correct, and I think they are, then “you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed. You’re gonna have to serve somebody.” Joshua has challenged us to choose today and reaffirm each and every day in the daily routines of life the one who will receive our admiration and worship. Choose today whom you will serve.
Moving Forward: I accept Joshua’s challenge – as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord!
Tomorrow @ Psalms 12-14