Joshua 24:1-33, Luke 21:1-28, Psalms 89:38-52, Proverbs 13:20-23
Today is the 22nd day of April welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it’s great to be here with you as…well…as we gather to take the next step forward in the adventure that we’re on through the Bible. And today…today is going to be a final day. We’re going to conclude another book, the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, and this will end in era. Actually, things will be very, very different after Joshua, as we’ll learn in the days ahead as we continue our journey forward. But this is one of those kind of apex moments, one of these moments in the history of ancient Israel that we’re reading through in the Bible where things were good and had reached kind of zenith. And following in the footsteps of Moses, like we’ll remember that the entire book of Deuteronomy was the last things that Moses needed, wanted desired, must communicate to the children of Israel before they would cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. Joshua has reached the end of his life as well. These are the last things that he has to say. And, so, we’re reading from the Amplified Bible this week. Joshua chapter 24.
Okay. So, as we concluded the book of Joshua, we have a pretty riveting, pretty impassioned plea from Joshua and these are the final things, this is the final charge of his life to these people that he’s led across the Jordan River. And his plea is that they would serve the Lord, that they would serve God with all their hearts, they would not return to false gods, that they would serve only the Lord God, the one true most-high God. And he is warning them like, “if you deviate from this you will destroy yourself”, but he also brings something starkly clear because he’s telling them, “if…if you’re not going to listen to me you’re not going to be able to be with God but also with the other gods that you’re turning to for life or prosperity or whatever. God’s not going to share you. So, if you…if it’s unacceptable for you to serve the Lord, then choose who you’re going to serve.” And that’s when he says the famous words, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” And something rises up within us when we hear those words doesn’t it? Like something…like we’re like, “me too. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” It’s fantastic declaration. It’s a beautiful moment in the Bible, but Joshua presses into that. “You will not be able to serve the Lord if you serve any other gods. He’s a holy God. He’s a jealous God. He demands what is uniquely and rightfully His.” He’s pressing in on them. This is not just something that they can declare it’s something that they have to be. And then we find ourselves in the stories like we always do. We can say those words. We can say, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”, but inside the walls of that house can be utter and complete chaos. It can…it’s not enough to say it we have to be it. So, Joshua presses in on them and they respond, “no, no, no, we will only serve the Lord.” And then Joshua says something that is really riveting because it is no less a factor right this second than it was when he spoke the words out of his mouth. “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the Lord to serve Him.” We live in a world where, you know, kind of diverting blame funneling it away from ourselves and onto somebody else or under some other circumstance where nothing’s really “our” fault. I mean that’s kind of the norm, but that all starts to fall apart when you hear the words “you are a witness against yourself. Like you will affirm or deny by your own thoughts, words and deeds, whether what you are saying is actually the truth.” So, if you’re gonna say, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”, then we must also realize that we are witnesses against ourselves about whether or not that’s the truth, right? That takes it out of the ether and makes it a tangible thing sitting square in our lap. And that’s good. It’s like cold water that gets thrown into your face. You don’t like that. But you’re awake. That’s like getting slapped across the face and you might be really really angry about that until you realize that the house is burning down and somebody’s trying to save your life by smacking you across the face and waking you up. We are witnesses against ourselves. We will affirm or deny not just with what we say but by who we are. And, so let’s live into that today. As stark as it is it is so needed and is so helpful. Are our words for show or do our words reflect who we are?
Father, we invite Your Holy Spirit into that question as we meditate upon it today. This gives us an opportunity to confront what is false within us. But in order to confront the darkness, in order to confront what is false we have to see it. And, so we invite Your Holy Spirit to show us these areas where we might be saying “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”, but in practice we are turning to so many other things to give us life and to give us hope. And we acknowledge Father that the road ahead in the Scriptures is gonna show us how that can disintegrate, how You can have this statement, but if it doesn’t become who You are, how things over time begin to fall back apart again. And we know this because we’ve lived it and we’re tired of it. We actually want to plant the flag, “as for me, and as for my house we will serve the Lord.” And, so, we begin Father by simply asking, “where are we not? Where have we gone astray?” Come with Your comfort and guidance, come with Your correction, come with Your rebuke, come and lead us back to the narrow path that leads to life, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.