14 “Now therefore revere the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region 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.”
Book of Joshua marks the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. In this chapter Joshua summons all the tribes of Israel and delivers the message of God’s faithfulness in fulfilling the promises beyond all odds and makes a strong call to the Israelites to decide who they will serve.
Our life is all about making choices. Throughout our lives we encounter situations that require us to make choices. We always try to make sure that the choices that we make are to our best interest. If we carefully examine our choices we find that many of our choices are based on our past experiences or based on the experiences that we have observed in other people’s life. Also the choices are made with certain expectation. For example, a student who is given the choice to pick the college for his/her higher studies, will pick the best rated college for a particular graduate course(purpose – To get good education) and the expectation will be to get a good job once graduated(Outcome). So there are 2 aspects in making a choice, 1. The purpose 2. The outcome.
The challenge that Joshua placed in front of the people of Israel was to choose whom they will serve faithfully: is it the Egyptian gods, the gods of the Amorites or the one true and living God who has faithfully led them through to the promised land. Let us remind ourselves that “we” in this generation are faced with exactly the same choice. We might think we are seasoned Christians and might think this is irrelevant to us. But we have to remember that the choices that we make in our day to day lives will define who we are serving. Are we faithfully serving the Lord in the choices that we make in our workplaces, schools, colleges, with our families and friends? Sometimes this is really hard to practice in our daily lives. At times like these we are to remind ourself that God is not expecting that we pull it through all by ourselves. He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to faithfully serve the Lord. We need to constantly ask for it. So the purpose of choices that we make in all areas of our life should be to faithfully serve the Lord. When the choices in our life are driven by this purpose, we will see God’s blessings in our lives.
Many a time we get really discouraged when we go through the various circumstances in our life. We may at times go through a period of questioning the reason for the various circumstances that we are going through. It is by fervent prayer and reading the Bible and seeing passages like this that we are encouraged. So the other key message from this chapter is the encouragement to look back on the faithfulness of the Lord in our own lives and the lives of other Christians around us. Joshua takes time to explain in detail all that God has done in the lives of the Israelites and, in that moment of realization, he acknowledges in verse 15, that he and his household will serve the Lord and there is no question of a different choice. We will be able to faithfully serve the Lord always if we keep ourselves reminded of all the blessings we have received from the Lord in the past. Also we need to note here that Joshua is proclaiming that serving the Lord is not his individual choice but the choice of his family. This is very important. God has called us together and placed us in a family with the expectation that the choice that each individual takes influence the choice of the family. Let us ask God for his divine intervention in the choices we make for ourselves and our families.
O Lord, our Heavenly Father, thank you for all that You have done in our lives. Please help us to be always reminded of those blessings You have done in our lives and enable us to make the choices in our lives that will uphold our faithfulness to serve You in everything that we do. In Jesus name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
What are the choices in our lives that reflect Jesus for others to see.
PRIESTHOOD: THE ANOINTED MINISTRY Exodus 40:12-16 Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting... wash them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate him so he may serve me as priest (Exodus 40: 12-13). Priesthood among the people of God was a divine command and initiation. God wanted some people to be separated for the special ministry among his people. God appointed Aaron and his descendants to take up this kind of ministry among the people of God. Priests are always separated and appointed as channels that connect God with his people. All throughout the history of Israel, priests played an important role in connecting people with God and to lead and guide them in the statutes of God. But there are incidents in the Bible where the priests failed in their duties and that led the people to go away from God. So the priests have a special and significant ministry to perform in this world among his people. Two important things
Community Formation Around Resurrection Experience Acts 23:1-10 Vinod Johnson Carmel MTC, Boston, MA 6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead.” Sometimes, the only thing that keeps you going through a brutal winter is the hope for the spring. It may have been a hard hope to hold on to this particular year in New England - a year in which Boston considered dumping not tea, but the ever growing mounds of snow into its harbor. And yet, the waist deep snow has dissolved away. White desolation has given way to increasingly visible green shoots of spring. A resurrection is at hand! In this passage, Paul tries to defend himself before the Sanhedrin Council. He seeks to drive a wedge between the Pharisees who believed in resurrection and the Sadducees who did not; even though neither believed in the resur
Revelation for Liberation Acts 27:18-26 Sherine Thomas Long Island MTC, NY 20 When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned. “After winter comes the summer. After night comes the dawn. And after every storm, there comes clear open skies” so said a Scottish clergyman from the 1600s. It’s been said, that hope can sometimes be the most dangerous weapon. However, it’s sometimes the hardest weapon to carry when you’re living with the loss of a loved one, something that almost feels like a terrible nightmare that’ll never go away. It’s a weapon difficult to carry when day in and day out no one seems to hear or see those tears that are shed or silent cries that are made during a heartfelt prayer. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you see your loved one lying on that hospital bed. It’s a weapon difficult to carry as you search and seek out answers to tell a child as to why they’ve been a