June 24, 2020 – Wednesday
Joshua 24:14-15 NIV
14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
We are still relatively close to Father’s Day and I recently ran across the verses above in a message/sermon by Pastor Tony Evans. The message and a summary are at the link. I recommend it. We know from the verses above Joshua had made the decision as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
So what does Joshua’s decision and the prior verses have to do with fathers and especially Christian fathers? Joshua and his family lived in a culture where many were making the decision to follow other gods instead of doing as Joshua suggested or directed at the beginning when he said, Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Then he went further and said Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
That got me to thinking and wondering. What gods are worshiped beyond the walls our various churches, if our churches even worship the Lord. Being honest, many churches do not worship God. Many may (or may not) serve up a few verses from time to time to give lip service to God’s Word. But the reality is whatever message follows has little or nothing to do with the God’s Word in the first place. If this is descriptive of the church you and your family attend can you really say as a father or mother as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Maybe your church is problematic, but at your home you and your family are sure to serve the Lord. Right? Not sure? Let’s take a look? Are you spending time in prayer privately, then with the members of our family, and then corporately with your family? Or are you instead busy gardening, watching your favorite TV shows, catching up on all the news of the last 24 hours, working on your car, anything that will keep you from spending time in prayer and in God’s Word?
Many in Joshua’s time were choosing to serve other gods. We many not call these other activities gods, but what are they if they keep us from spending time with our Lord and Savior … and His Father? As a father and parent we set the example for our children, grandchildren, and others. What kind of example are we setting if we never have time to show that we are indeed serving the Lord? Certainly if we are not, then our household is not serving the Lord!
Years later we might complain to God asking what went wrong when our daughter ends up pregnant and unmarried or our son ends up causing his girlfriend to get pregnant? Maybe it’s not a pregnancy but instead an alcohol or drug induced car accident. And, of course, in our heart of hearts we know what went wrong. We went wrong when we consciously or unconsciously made the decision for our household not to serve the Lord. Oh, we may have gone through the motions, but we really do know in our heart of hearts if we truly served Him or not.
We live in a culture today that first of all rejects God and second of all worships doing whatever we wish that pleases us. Not so different from Joshua’s culture. Yet it does not matter what the culture accepts or rejects. What matters is the choice we will make when it comes to serving God or the culture. We are going to have trials and tribulations either way, but one way is God’s way. All the others are not.
Our decisions have eternal consequences. And as a banner I read today said, ETERNITY IS A VERY LONG TIME. We cannot make the decisions for our children, but we can set the example for them when we choose to say as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.