Lent Devotional: Joshua 24:1-15

by Jonathan Haefs

Joshua 24:1-15 (click here)
I took your father Abraham from beyond the River…
I gave him Isaac…
I gave Jacob…
I sent Moses and Aaron…
I plagued Egypt…
I brought you out…
I brought you to the land…
I gave them into your hand…
I delivered you…
I gave you a land…

“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond 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 24:various selections and 14-15)

Reflection

As the people of God, we have a history… a history of God’s faithfulness to fulfill all his promises.

Yet, we are each under constant temptation to forsake the Lord, often because we have bought into the lie that he has forsaken us.

When Israel finished conquering the promised land, Joshua, their leader, knew that the temptation would be strong upon the people to return to the foreign false deities their forefathers had so often served in Egypt. He knew that as the people experienced individual hardships, they may think the Lord had forsaken them. Or… as they experienced individual blessings they may think they had gained everything in their own power and didn’t need the Lord.

So what did Josh do?

He reminded the people of their history… a history of God’s faithfulness to fulfill all his promises.

He reminded them of how God had not forsaken them as a people, but had worked on their behalf generation after generation. Even if they were to experience individual circumstances that felt like God was absent, they could stand amongst the people of God and look over their collective history to see that the Lord was always present and faithful to his people.

Joshua reminded them of how all their blessings had been given to them by the Lord. Even if they were experiencing individual success, when standing amongst the people of God, hearing their history, they should recognize that all success belonged to the Lord… the glory was his alone!

This is one of the reasons the church community is so vital for us as Christians. We will all experience various times in our lives when we believe the Lord has forsaken us. We need to stand amongst the people of God and hear the whole of our story. God’s faithfulness to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob IS his faithfulness to us as well!

We will also likely have times of success, and we will be tempted to take all the credit and forget the Lord. Who needs to rely on God when they can rely on themselves? We need the community and our collective history to remind us that all blessings come from the Lord.

In light of our history and all God’s faithfulness… in light of all his goodness… in light of him and amongst his people… it is form that perspective that we should and must choose who we will serve each day.

As for me and my house… we will serve the Lord.
 

*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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