“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond 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.”
Joshua 24:14–15, ESV
Like many, I am sure, I have the final portion of the fifteenth verse hanging up in my house, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” The bold words of Joshua and the affirmation of the people of Israel are heartening and lift us up. Sadly, we find that many don’t keep this promise, and the same is true for those of us that have it hung upon our walls. It is amazing how little things can slip into a life that causes a person to lose focus and fall prey to idolatry. The idols of our age may not look like the idols we read about in Scripture, but they are idols all the same. We may not build an altar and light incense or offer animal sacrifices to them, but there are special offerings and sacrifices that are made. God’s love for us is not removed because of our errors, but the promise of Joshua is meant to resonate within us. Not to make us feel guilty but to help us be aware and seek to remove all idols that take us away from worshiping God. He seeks for us to remove all idols from our homes and our hearts. The problem with idols is that we often seek to protect them and make sure that we guard them from any danger or harm. If the idol fails or falters, so does our spirit. In God, this is not the way. God does not fail. His promises stand firm. Now some may twist the Word to make it seem as if His promises mean that we will be prosperous or that we will only have good health, or we will not struggle or suffer. Those promises are not fully in line with what we see in the Word. Jesus suffered, Paul suffered, and all the apostles suffered. There were great healings and miraculous signs and wonders, but the greatest gift was not in these but in the salvation promise of Christ and the restoration that all of His followers will receive.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.