Thankfully, God has taken that weight off of my shoulders and put it on his own.
For my daily Scripture reading, I was finishing up Joshua and came to the part where Joshua is about to die. Much like Moses, I read his story and just want to cry. He gave the Israelites his all, he served the Lord by serving them his entire life. And he cared about and loved them deeply. But he also knew their faults and shortcomings.
14 “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. 15 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.”
16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods, 17 for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”19 But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD.” 22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. 26 And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.
As for Joshua and his house, they were going to serve the Lord. And the people agreed. They too wanted to serve the Lord. .But.....they did not kick out ALL the people from Canaan like they were told. And they eventually reverted to serving idols. It's really ridiculous, being on this end of it all, to read about their continue failings and deliverance. I'm reading Judges now and it makes me heart sick.
I wish, wish, wish, that I could ensure that my children would not 'serve idols'. I wish I could ensure that I myself would not serve idols. At least not permanently. I am so thankful that God cares enough about us to put things into our lives to draw us away from our everyday idols and back to him. It seems mean, but I do pray that he would do that to my children throughout their lives. That he would not let them get too comfortable in this world, which is not their home.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And, with his help, wait eagerly for his return, to consummate the marriage promise he made at his first coming.
Gracious Heavenly Father, please keep our feet on the solid rock. And keep our hearts and minds grounded in you. Like Lot and the Israelites after him, we are surrounded by idols. We live in Sodom. Help us not to 'marry' them, but to live separately. Please guide and protect us until you return.