"Oh, blest the house, whate'er befall, Where Jesus Christ is all in all! A home that is not wholly His—How sad and poor and dark it is!
"Then here will I and mine today, A solemn promise make and say: Though all the world forsake His Word, I and my house will serve the Lord!"
Joshua reviewed all that the Lord had done for Israel. God brought the descendants of Abraham from beyond the Euphrates River and set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt. He settled them in the land He promised to them. Although the Lord had done so much for them, the people were tempted to worship false gods. If they did not want to worship the Lord who had chosen them, a challenge lay before them: "Choose this day whom you will serve" (Joshua 24:15b). They had many choices available—the gods of the surrounding nations, the gods of Egypt, or even the idols worshiped in the region of the Euphrates.
We face a similar challenge, and as many choices. We are surrounded by other religions and other gods. Many people create their own personal religions. Some who claim to be Christians reshape the faith to match their own opinions. Others prefer to exalt science or a particular philosophy or worldview. Christian families are faced with raising children in a world that is as spiritually challenging as the culture of the ancient Israelites—if not more so!
A family may provide the best of everything to their children—food, shelter, clothing, education, entertainment, opportunities, and loving care. Yet if the Lord Jesus is not present in that home, the living foundation is missing. Our hymn describes the reality of that kind of household—"sad and poor and dark." A home can have no greater foundation than Jesus Christ. He is the solid bedrock and Cornerstone who will support parents and children alike through every storm of life.
Joshua reminded the Israelites of all that God had done for them. In the same way, Christian parents and grandparents have the privilege and responsibility to instruct children in the Word of God, to remind them of everything that God has done for them in Christ Jesus. Jesus' precious lambs need to know that their Good Shepherd laid down His life to save them and that He now lives and reigns as their King. They can be certain that Jesus will keep them in His care and that, by God's grace through faith, they will live in His presence forever.
Joshua challenged Israel to worship God alone and then confessed the firm foundation of his own household: "As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15c). In the homes of families and individuals, in every Christian household, by the help of the Spirit of God the same foundation is confessed: "Though all the world forsake His Word, I and my house will serve the Lord!"
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, keep parents and children in Your care and help them to grow in faith. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Oh, Blest the House," which is number 862 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Can you name some "gods" we have in 21st-century America?
2. Do we face a similar imperative in our lives: "Choose this day whom you will serve"?
3. Do you have any kind of family devotional or group Bible study time in your house? Would you like to? Lutheran Hour Ministries has plenty of resources for you to use to choose from.
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