Got to serve somebody: Whom will you serve?

Joshua 24v15

The Verse of the Day for November 8, 2015 is taken from Joshua 24:15 (NLT):

But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

The Holman Christian Standard Bible also offers another rendering that is especially meaningful:

Joshua 24:15

But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshipped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

The King James Version of Joshua 24:15 asks questions as to whom the Children of Israel will serve. In actuality, Joshua is asking whom will they worship, for to serve is to worship, and to worship is to serve. A recent Verse of the Day focused on Romans 12:1, which speaks of offering our bodies as “a living sacrifice,” which is our reasonable service, or as the Amplified Bible puts it: “which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” Indeed, service = worship.

From that previous blog entry comes the following comment which also has application to today’s Verse of the Day: “Another expression of worship involves doing or serving, as we follow God’s command and make a sacrifice to do His will, to serve Him alone.”

Each day God sets before us the choice: will we choose the path that leads to life everlasting, as we choose to follow the Lord and serve only Him? Or will we choose the path that leads to destruction and choose to serve other gods. The daily choice that confronts us also brought to mind this poem:

Choices, Chances, and the Changes We Make

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed

by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is

that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 (New King James Version)

As we journey life’s highway, we all must make a choice:

To follow the path that leads to life or the way of death.

The Lord says choose life, but we must give heed to His voice

And follow the path of life each day that we draw breath.

Each day we can remain where we are or take a chance

And open up to release what we have and to give,

As we determine whether we diminish or enhance.

Only when we give in love do we begin to live.

God’s Word encourages us to be transformed, to change.

As butterflies emerge in beauty, our lives unfold.

From death to life, beauty for ashes God will exchange.

For those who walk uprightly, nothing good will He withhold.

Life is the sum of choices and chances, risks we take,

Not to be conformed but transformed by the changes we make.

I recall a popular song from the seventies in which the inimitable Bob Dylan made a profound statement that “You got to serve somebody . . . it may be the Devil, it may be the Lord, but you got to serve somebody.” Just as the question was raised by Joshua when he confronted the Israelites, as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, so the question is raised to believers today, “Whom are you going to serve or worship this day?” Like Joshua we also need to be resolute in our bold response, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

That commitment is powerfully expressed in this video by John Waller: “As for Me and My House:”

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