Good Lord, in my busy, noisy world, I long to hear Your voice. Speak to me through Your Word today.
Read Joshua 24:1-15
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
What have been some high points in your spiritual journey so far? Thank God for his work in your life.
Chapter 23 was the account of Joshua’s private farewell to the leaders of Israel. Some have suggested that chapter 24 is another account of the same event, but it more likely describes a public ceremony where Joshua leads the people in renewing their covenant with God. There is great spiritual value in remembering what God has done for us, and in reaffirming our intent to follow him. Whenever and however we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, that’s what should be in our hearts (1 Cor. 11:23-26).
Joshua’s God-inspired overview of Israel’s history reveals several interesting themes. First, idolatry was part of Abraham’s family system (2) and became part of Israel’s spiritual DNA. We should not think of idolatry only as a primitive custom, involving statues of silver and gold. Whenever we allow anything to take a higher priority than God, we’re guilty of idolatry. A second theme is the “you-and-I” refrain that runs through this account. Notice how God refers to his own actions: I took, I gave, I sent, I assigned. And notice how aware he is of his people: count the number of times he refers to “you.” It reminds us that the big story of the Bible is God’s very personal effort to rebuild the broken relationship with humankind.
Joshua concludes with a dramatic call to commitment (15), the second half of which makes a wonderful mission statement for any parent, grandparent or care-giver. Joshua understood that the best way to influence people towards God’s purposes was not just to tell them what to do, but also to show them. “Follow me!” may be the motto of the US Army Infantry, but centuries earlier Joshua discovered it was also the key to spiritual leadership. Jesus, too, used it to invite people to new life (John 1:43; Luke 9:23).
What are the most important things in your life? How could you more fully respond to Jesus’ call to “follow me” this week?
Gracious God, as I look over my life I can see where You went before me, opening closed doors, giving direction and strength. I thank You and bless Your name. Help me follow You faithfully.
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