Thursday, January 18th, 2024
Recently I have been reading chapters 23 and 24 in the book of Joshua. These chapters cover Joshua’s farewell address and the covenant that he urged the Israelites to make with the Lord. There are lots of incredible scriptures reviewing all that the Lord had done for the Israelites and specific warnings about what would happen if the people turned from God. While Joshua had seen all that the Lord had done for His people, he also knew the temptations that surrounded them from all the neighboring lands they had defeated. It’s definitely worth reading through all of it. Today, I want to look at one of the more well-known scriptures. Joshua 24:15 says:
15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua actually presents three options for whom the Israelites could choose to serve. They could serve the gods of their fathers, the gods of the people whose land they are currently occupying, or the Lord. I think the way he broke this out is interesting. Most of us are familiar with the present-day choices that we have between serving God or man, but there are also many aspects of our familial past that we may need to deal with.
God certainly does not expect us to be aware of all the other “gods” that our fathers or grandfathers or great-grandfathers may have served, but the potential exists for their past choices to affect us today. The first place to start would be to seek the Lord. He will show us what historical influences may be affecting us today. He may start to highlight some less-than-righteous responses. If we find ourselves getting abnormally emotional about certain things or being unusually offended by the words or actions of another, this may point to some areas we need to deal with. These could be things from our lives, or they could have been initiated in prior generations. Once God shines a light on them, let’s spend some time repenting for ourselves and/or on behalf of our families.
The other piece I wanted to spend some time on is one simple question: Whom am I serving? This is one of those instant temperature checks that we can give to ourselves from anywhere. Whether we are gauging our thoughts, actions, motives or responses, it’s four simple words that will tell us if what we are sowing will lead to good fruit or bad fruit. That thought that pops into your head, whom are you serving if you choose to ruminate on it? That thing you want to watch or that book you want to read, whom are you serving by doing so? That ministry you were asked to participate in, whom are you serving if you accept? That message you want to send or that post you want to upload, whom are you serving if you do?
The enemy doesn’t want us to take the time to ask ourselves, “Whom am I serving?” He wants us to fly around letting our human instincts steer our imperfect ship. If he can keep us preoccupied with busy multitasking, telling us how great our decision-making skills are, we will soon forget the simple commandments our Heavenly Father gave us. We too will bite that forbidden fruit thinking we deserve it. Let’s not give the enemy any opportunity to adulterate the beautiful tapestry that God is weaving. God will help us to see whom we are serving as long as we pause long enough to ask the question.