As for me and my house

Joshua 24v15

For the Verse of the Day for November 8, 2017, we find our way to Joshua 24:15 in the New King James Version:

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of 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.”

Notice this rendering in the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

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 worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

Joshua confronts the Children of Israel as they prepare to enter the Promised Land as to whom are they going to worship: the gods of the idolatrous ethnic groups that had occupied the land that God has promised to His people or Yahweh, the true and living God.

Just as Joshua shows a relationship between serving and worshiping God, Paul also connects these concepts in Romans 12:1 (NKJV)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

The New Living Translation put it this way:

[A Living Sacrifice to God] And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

A previous blog entry pointed out a popular song from the seventies where the inimitable Bob Dylan made a profound statement: “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?”

God desires that His people worship and serve only Him. From the First and Great Commandment, He clearly states “You shall have no other gods before Me” and reinforces the message throughout the Scriptures; notably 1 John also exhorts: “My little children keep yourselves from idols.” A teaching heard years ago points out that problems arise not from the idols or “Ites” that we destroy but from the “‘Ites’ that Remain,” the title of the following poem:

The ‘Ites’ that Remain

It’s not the ‘Ites’ that you destroy

that determine your victory

but the ‘Ites’ that remain.”

Apostle Eric L. Warren

 

On the verge of the final breakthrough, moving into

The Promised Land, we encounter each enemy,

And like Caleb we claim our reward and pursue

And conquer each “Ite” in spirit, soul or body.

Though fierce as the sons of Anak, the “Ites” that remain

Shall never keep us from the ultimate victory.

As we obey, we dispel these giants and gain

A more expansive view of new territory.

We must first drive out the enemy right where we live

And displace the “Ites” that hinder our progress.

We learn never to hold back but cheerfully give

To utterly destroy the idol of selfishness.

We are willing to count the cost and pay the price

And offer our body as a living sacrifice.

John Waller offers a musical rendering of the Verse of the Day expressed in “As for Me and My House”:

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