Today’s Bible reading is Joshua 24 and Ephesians 2.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua. How would you summarize the first six books of the Bible? Having waded through the familiar and the challenging, the history and the law, what are these books really documenting and communicating? In Joshua 24, Israel’s aged leader provided a summary:
- Long ago, your ancestors lived beyond the Euphrates and served other gods
- The LORD led Abraham to the land of Canaan and blessed him with a son, Isaac
- To Isaac the LORD gave Jacob
- Jacob and his children went down to Egypt
- The LORD sent Moses and Aaron, plagued Egypt, and brought Abraham’s descendants out
- Against enemy after enemy, the LORD delivered Israel
- He has given you a land on which you have not labored and cities you have not built
And then, Joshua gets to the point. “NOW THEREFORE…” Joshua’s aim in summarizing the past is to shape the hearts of the people in the present.
“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.” (Josh 24:14-15)
Why read and study and meditate upon the Old Testament? The past has a direct connection to the “NOW.” Documented history projects a “THEREFORE” into the present. Resolutions like “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” are great, but they need kindling and fuel–which is exactly what God has provided in the first six books of his written revelation to mankind. “This is what God has done, now therefore this is what I am choosing to do.”
Do you want to get serious about reverently serving God in sincerity and faithfulness? Dig deeply into the rich reservoir of ancient fuel he has preserved for the zeal of his people in the present.