Princess Leah: “I love you.”
Han Solo: “I know.”
Spock: “I have been and always shall be, your friend.”
Rick Blaine: “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”
Joey: “Shane! Shane, come back!”
E.T.: “Be right here.”
There have been many memorable goodbyes in cinematic history. The couple I’ve listed above are only a few of the ones I know best.
In terms of scriptural goodbyes, Joshua’s is also one of the most memorable. The line: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” is found on much Christian merchandising, from mugs to posters to wall hangings. What we often miss is the seriousness of what Joshua is challenging Israel with. “Choose for yourselves today the one you will worship…” Much like Moses in Deuteronomy 30, when he says “Choose life!”, Joshua is pleading with Israel to stay the course, remain faithful to God and fulfill the plan that He has for them. But like Moses, Joshua reiterates that it is a choice Israel must make.
These verses are especially poignant to me as a pastor. So very often as a leader you try to point people in the right direction, to help them grow in their faith, to teach them to follow God’s voice and will. But inevitably people must make their own choices, and sometime the only thing you can do is plead with them to choose wisely.
Joshua exits the narrative of Israel’s history. He was a courageous and faithful leader. He modeled for us how to listen and follow God, how to lead decisively once he understood God’s wishes, and how to be faithful in the midst of overwhelming odds.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Judges 1-2