One of my favorite aspects of reading through the chronological bible is when I’m immersed in a chapter or passage of scripture and suddenly come across an all too familiar verse. It’s as if I’m struck in the face and I can’t help but to sit up and take notice! Immediately I want to re-read the verses leading up to it to gain a better understanding of what I just read.
This week I had time where I was able to linger in the Word. We had a slow morning ahead of us, so I felt no rush to get ready. The kids were peacefully playing. What they were up to I still don’t know, but in that moment I wasn’t about to go and find out. 🙂
Opening my Bible to where I had last left off I realized my reading that morning would be Joshua 24, the last chapter of this Book.
This is a powerful chapter and I encourage all of you to open your Bibles during your next available moment and read it for yourself. I underlined most of the passage as I soaked up the words that Joshua shared with the Israelites at the end of his life. He reminded them of their history beginning with Abraham, continuing on to Moses and Aaron, and finally leading into Jericho and the Promised Land. God’s people were reminded of how the Lord led them…brought them…gave them…delivered them.
That could have been enough for me this day as I marveled over the powerful ways God revealed Himself to them time and time again, but my appetite was wet and I wanted to continue on. This is when I arrived at the familiar verse. One I’ve quoted, written on the frame of our house as we were building, and displayed in our home. But, there’s something about slowing down and reading a verse over and over again that really helps it to penetrate the heart. And so I read Joshua 24:15 and came to the last sentence of this verse…
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I immediately backed up to verse 14 and the rest of 15 to read the words that led to this statement.
Joshua said, (vs.14) “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. (vs. 15) But, if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
When I read these two verses in their entirety I took notice of several things I wanted to consider in this moment. In verse 14 four different points stood out to me.
- Fear the Lord
- Serve Him
- Throw away the gods
- (And again)…Serve the Lord
Each of these statements struck me for different reasons and they are words I am prayerfully asking the Lord to speak to me personally about.
As I continue, even today, to ponder these words from verse 14, verse 15 held the words that had an immediate impact during that moment.
“Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve….As for me and my household we will serve the Lord.”
In our sermon this past Sunday our Pastor mentioned that every day we are either moving closer to the Lord or further away.
It is so easy for me to get complacent as I draw close to the Lord. There’s an intimacy, a true dependence on Him, but then life gets busy, I’m distracted, and slowly, without even realizing it, my time with the Lord isn’t as much of a priority as it was. I feel myself leaning more on my own understanding, and not trusting Him to make my path straight. (Prov. 3:5)
I sat and meditated on these verse, praying, journaling, and sitting still. I then grabbed my favorite bible commentary as I wanted to examine a little further what was said about these verses.
Andy walked in the door from the gym just as I began reading a expounded explanation of verse 15. I was so struck by Pastor Courson’s words that I began following Andy around as he was getting ready for work. It was just too rich not to share!
Much of what the Lord is teaching me this week, challenging me with, encouraging me with, I’m still working through. I am excited, I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting to see how this manifests in my life.
What I do know is that each and every day I choose whom I will serve. I want to be reminded of this as I so easily fall into the trap of serving my schedule, my desires, even serving my family over serving the Lord.
My prayer for you is that the Words of the Bible penetrate your soul and draw you closer to Him. May we praise Him today and every day for who He is, and not lose sight of the fact that nothing is more important than the Lord.
May you choose Him today and may you be encouraged, reminded, and have a renewed excitement about these words…
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”