Where We Came From (Joshua 24:2)

Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.'”

Joshua 24:2

This is where everyone starts: serving other gods. It may be in the same way as Terah and Nahor and Abram, viz. serving statues that someone tells us are gods or worshiping some so-called god that cannot do anything to help us because it is no god at all. It may be more insidious. We may pursue wealth or position and service to this false god is retitled “ambition.” We may pursue pleasure and this Bacchanalian worship is called “hedonism.” We may seek sexual encounters for whatever reason we seek them—pleasure, fulfillment, sense of power—and this worship of Eros and his mother is re-termed “sexual freedom.” Most anything, if pursued, can become an idol.

This is, I think, why Paul told believers that whether we eat, drink, or whatever we do, it should be done to the glory of God. Eating, which runs the risk of becoming an obsession unto itself (just look at all the diets and permutations of diets out there), becomes an act in which we think about God and His glory. How does my cheeseburger glorify God? I do not know. But I can eat it with thanksgiving and make my conversation during the meal glorifying to God and that is glorifying to Him. I can also eat in moderation, using the self-control that is the fruit of the Spirit and that is glorifying to Him. Jesus said I shouldn’t worry about wealth or position or any of those things that non-believers are so eager for, because God is well aware of what I need (in all respects). I realized, on thinking of this, that Jesus never said the Father would only supply my needs. Jesus just said that I shouldn’t worry about those things because my Father knows what I need. He knows that I need clothing and food and protection from the elements. He knows that I need a job (He created the first job when He told Adam to be a gardener, after all). He knows my emotional and psychological needs, as well.

Where am I going with this? Well, Joshua loops Israel back around from the realization that their ancestors worshiped other gods to the question of Whom Israel would serve. Would Israel choose to serve the God Whose works they had seen with their own eyes or would they go back to serving the gods their ancestors had worshiped? The same choice is set before me daily. Will I choose to trust God today for all of my needs or will I worship some other god like food or position or money or notoriety? The choice is mine, today and every day.

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