I do thank you for your continued indulgence in my domestic break here :)
Deut 14-Joshua 24
I'm going to be cliché and pick the last chapter of Joshua as my topic for my reflection. This is where he gives the "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" speech. (Side note: When I was in 6th grade we made a little plaque with that Bible verse on it at VBS. It was one of my favorite projects ever I do believe :) )
However, I want to focus on a different part of the chapter. Actually - the part right after Joshua says that to the people.
Now these are the Israelites. The "we're tired of manna!", "We're just tired!" , "Hey, let's make a golden cow!", and "The people in the promised land are big and scary!" Israelites. (Granted - I'll cut them some slack because I see so much of myself in those statements.) So - after Joshua's statement they say, "Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods! It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great sings before our eyes . . .We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God."
And Joseph says, "Uh..no you won't." (Actual text: "You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God.")
They say, "No! We will serve the Lord!"
Joshua: "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord."
So - the Israelites have renewed faith in themselves that they're going to trust God this time - they're going to serve him. They're going to follow his commands - and they choose to serve the Lord - and to remember the work He has done in their lives and the lives of their parents.
They threw away their foreign Gods and they chose God.
Now - over the next few hundred years they're going to mess up again and there will be prophets that express the weeping sadness of God over His Israel. But I kind of love Israel at this moment. "Yeah. We know we've screwed up. We know we're tempted to wander. But, really, what we want - we want to serve the Lord."
I so get that. The unshakeable faith in yourself that you can do this. That this time it's going to work - that you're really going to ignore all the other idols and you're going to serve God even when you think it was better in Egypt and even when you're tired of the manna and even when the things He's asking of you look scary - somewhere deep in your heart and in your soul you believe enough in the power of God and the gifts he's given you that you're going to serve Him.
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart, Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.