Thursday, July 9, 2015

He Served Us -- Why Would We Not Want to Serve Him?

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24: 15)

Most people read this passage on its own, and conclude that the choice is a bitter one.

In fact, let us consider what the gods did for the Israelites, and what the LORD did.

In Egypt, where the Israelites had forgotten their blessed heritage in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they slaved away and toiled for foreign masters:

"11Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour." (Exodus 1: 11-14)

Their lives were bitter, hard, full of difficulty.

During this time, they were worshipping other gods.

Yet even during this time of feckless disobedience, the LORD cared about them:

"23And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them." (Exodus 2: 23-25)

The Israelites groaned in pain. They did not even pray "LORD, help us!". They just gave out because of the cruelty of their enslaved affliction.

And the LORD sent them a deliverer: Moses. This same Living God would punish the Egyptians with plagues while protecting then prospering the Israelites.

Then He led them out of bondage into freedom with a great deliverance:

"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever." (Exodus 14: 13)

They merely did what the LORD asked them too, and just as He had blessed Abraham and his sons, so too God blessed the Israelites.

Serving the Lord is indeed desirable, for God simply asks that we receive all things at His hand and rest in His goodness.

Consider the wonderful world which He had created for man:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" (Ephesians 1: 3)

Because of Jesus, our Salvation now and forever, His new commands are also easy:

"And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." (1 John 3: 23)

and thus

"1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (1 John 5: 1-3)

God loved us so much, because He sent His Son Jesus to be our Savior now and forever. He served us even when we were not paying attention and did not care. Today, the more that we see how much He has loved and ministered to us, the more that we will want to serve Him!

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