“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
We see this verse all over the place. On plaques, photos, walls, in just about every believers house that we visit. It is difficult to walk into any Christian bookstore in your town and not see it hanging on a shelf. It is one of those wonderful verses from scripture that we love to memorize and post. However, do we really understand what this verse means? What the context is from scripture? Are we really ready to live up to what we are displaying on our walls? Before we can answer that question we need to have an understanding of the entire verse and the context in which it is written.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)
We hear this as Joshua speaks to the assembled tribes at Shechem. Joshua has led his people across the Jordan and into the promised land. He explains the providence that God has provided his people from the calling of Abraham, to the exodus from Egypt to the delivery of the promised lands into their hands. He recalls how God has always been faithful and true to his chosen people. In essence he is calling for them to renew their covenant with the Lord. He reminds them not to forget where all their blessings come from. To stay true to the one true God. He knew from history that during periods of prosperity Gods people tend to stray and follow the gods of the world around them. This occurred even as God was faithful and delivered all he had promised. He knew the danger to his people and his family. He was drawing the line in the sand….Which God will you follow?
That is the same question we must ask ourselves. Which God will we follow? We live in the most prosperous, advanced, and technologically developed society that has ever existed on this earth. We live in a country where there is no fear of persecution for our beliefs. We are surrounded by blessings that our forefathers carved out of a new world thanks to the grace of God. However, now is the time for concern. Fathers, It is our time to renew our covenant. Time to be a modern-day Joshua. It is when we have all of these things that we need to be most on guard. Scripture is very clear about this danger:
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, to give you a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)
We need to remember that all we have is by the grace of God. It is through his providence that we have the blessings that we have now. We tend to think that our prosperity and success is by our works and leave God out of the picture. When we do these things we begin to move God off of the throne and slide ourselves into His seat. When we post this verse on our walls are we ready to live up to what it says – or is it just another decoration?
Fathers, I am asking you what Joshua asked his people… is serving God desirable to you? If not, then turn your heart to the gods of this world and to the sins of your forefathers. If it is desirable to serve the Lord then turn your heart and your household to Him. Turn your backs on the gods of this world and the sins of your past. Let your household serve the Lord. So how do you do it? It is not accomplished just by showing up at church on Sunday mornings and checking off the box. It is accomplished by making a commitment as a family to let your life be a tribute to God. To live your life in such a way as to bring honor to Him. Take time out of your day and look around your home. Does your house glorify God? What movies and books are on your shelves? What shows are coming into your home on your television? Do we give more time to our jobs and sports then to the spiritual growth of our children, wives, and ourselves? Take this time to renew your covenant with the Lord. Is it easy? No, it may be one of the hardest things you have ever done. However, it is essential to the role that we need to serve in our homes. Set the tone and become the modern-day Joshua. Proclaim loud and clear….”As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”