Posts Tagged ‘Joshua 24:15’

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Ezekiel 2: The Scroll

imagesCAY6MAJWIf we ever need the courage to speak the words God enjoins us to speak which we know will set our family, friends and acquaintances on edge, we only need read this chapter of the Book of Ezekiel.  This prophet spoke to the rebellious of Israel and also to the rebellious who were taken off in exile . . . and neither group wanted to hear the truth of his words.  This is what we must expect when we speak truth to power, mercy to callousness, love to indifference.  Words from the source of all being and creation will ring true; words from all that is good will cause more discomfort than comfort.  The Lord reminds us of this when we read this story which dwells more on the vision of what can be rather than on the reality of what is.  Just as God handed a scroll to Ezekiel, so too does he hand us our own scroll . . . and we must have the courage to read it out.

Fear neither them nor their words when they contradict you and reject you, and when you sit on scorpions.

God is accustomed to having his words turned away; yet even knowing this he asks us to join him in his work.

Whether they heed or resist – for they are a rebellious house – they shall know that a prophet has been among them.

God expects that many will turn away from his word which saves and heals; but even knowing this he calls us to the vineyard to gather the harvest with mercy-filled obedience.

Neither fear their words nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.

The faithful need not fight, nor worry about whether their work is apparently effective; yet even knowing this, God calls us to speak . . . and once we have acted as he has asked, he speaks to each rebel deep within the heart.

Speak my words to them, whether they heed or resist, for they are a rebellious people.

God has come among us as a human to show us how to walk and how to act, knowing that his work takes fearsome courage; yet even knowing that he will die on the cross . . . God persists in living among us as his word incarnate.

Obey me when I speak to you; be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you.

Just as the Lord hands a scroll to Ezekiel with the words inked out so that his words may not be mistaken, just so is each of us called to speak the truth we hear with our interior ear.

As we prepare for Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season that begins soon, let us resolve to speak the words on the scroll God hands to us.  As we enter the battle of life each day, we will want to know what to do and what to say.  And we will want to reply as did the loyal Joshua when God asked him to lead his people across the Jordan River to take up residence in their new land: As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.  (24:15)

Image from: http://thedailychapter.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/ezekiel-3-%E2%80%9Cezekiel-learns-about-his-mission%E2%80%9D/

First written on April 10, 2009.  Re-written and posted today as a Favorite.

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Judges 2: Joshua

Saturday, July 1, 2017

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

The Book of Judges, as we have seen, brings us accounts of God’s fidelity in the face of the faithful’s repeated and blatant infidelity. Human nature has not changed over the millennia and so we may want to reassure ourselves that God indeed sends heroes to save us, despite our lack of constancy.

Today’s chapter recalls the leader Joshua who leads the Israelites into Canaan and establishes the twelve tribes in the land promised to them by Yahweh. When we see how the people turn to pagan gods to later turn and repent, we might also see our own repeated cycle. We become comfortable, then turn to our own pagan gods of social media, status seeking, and comfort zones. We encounter obstacles only to realize that while God helps us through our daily turmoil, God also sustains our eternal selves.

As for me and my family, we will serve God. (Joshua 24:15)

Of course, Yahweh abides – as God always does. But what we notice today is that once the generation who trekked from bondage to freedom has passed away, once all of these people who suffered in the desert are gone, once they have been nourished and fed and can relax a bit, the Israelites fall back into the old patterns and habits of sin. As we progress in our own pilgrimage from desert to promise, we might reflect on the heroes who intervene for us at just the right moments. And we might turn and return to God, to take up where we have left off in our journey home.

When we revive the old tales of salvation, we remember our own stories. Each time God saves us, heals, transforms and lifts us up, we might want to record our transformation and give thanks to God. We might also share our stories of redemption so that others might remember God’s love and generosity.

As for me and my household, we will worship the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

As a young man, Joshua joins the great Exodus from Egypt and rises to second-in-command as the twelve tribes journey through the desert. Serving Yahweh, he shows his strengths as a practical leader. Although we can imagine that Joshua had moments of doubt, scripture gives us no story of his turning away from the Lord. Always serving, Joshua remains constant, persistent and generous, ready to do what Yahweh asks of him. Always moving forward, Joshua remains hopeful, courageous and open to Yahweh’s call. Today we reflect on how we might look at Joshua to discern what we might learn, and how we too, might serve as one of God’s heroes.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

Adapted from a reflection written on February 22, 2007.

For commentary on Joshua, click the image above or visit: https://theisraelbible.com/bible/joshua 

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