…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… Joshua 24:15
Love. Isn’t that what we all long for? To be accepted, valued, included, secure… What if I said, we all have it… but the real question is if we’ll choose it.
Joseph could have lashed out at the lack of love he felt from his family but in Genesis 50:19 he responds, Am I God, that I can punish you? and he even goes a step further in saying, I will continue to take care of you… AND he reassures his family by, speaking kindly to them... (vs. 21).
WHAT?! I tell ya what, that is not the worlds way is it! The world is quick to validate a wrong for a wrong. But Joseph, Joseph displayed a higher source of strength within. A source others took notice of. Genesis 41:37 states, Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?
In Exodus 1 when the Hebrew midwives are ordered by Pharaoh to kill all the baby boys, verse 17 states, But because the midwives feared God, they refused to obey the kings orders.
“Feared God…” hmmm and what does Proverbs 9:10 say that stirs up? The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. If I want to choose well, good golly I could use a fresh stirring up of a reverent Holy Fear of our God, daily!
Joseph in holy fear of his God was given good judgement in his situation.
Romans 12:19 (NIV) Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
Proverbs 21:23 (MSG) Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.
The midwives in Exodus, like Joseph, were blessed by God through their choice to be obedient to Him in the scary, in the unexplainable, in the hurt… they chose to let God rule their hearts and minds, to rest in trust and faith over striving for control in turbulent frustration (Ex. 1:21, Gen. 41:41).
Deuteronomy 28 is a refreshing read as it clearly lists the incredible benefits for trusting and obeying God alongside the curses for disobedience. Just like driving, the lines on the road give us clear expectations for right driving. They are for us to follow in order to keep ourselves and everyone around us on the road safe. If we choose to ignore them… well, it is not going to be pretty is it, talk about some turbulent frustration to say the least!!!
Deut. 28:47 clearly states the choice is ours to make, If you do not serve the LORD your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies…
Deut. 28:38 tells me disobedience leads to me working hard but gaining little…for locusts will eat your crops.
But amazing, amazing grace is what set’s belief in Jesus as our personal God and Savior apart from anything else!! Because even though we make mistakes, and sometimes even make ridiculous choices like ignoring “road lines” and end up with locusts eating up all our crops, so to speak… We have Joel 2:25-27!!!! Verse 25 states, The LORD says, I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts… Talk about AMAZING GRACE, MERCY, FORGIVENESS AND LOVE!!!
Romans 6 also holds incredible hope for all who would turn from living for self and live for Jesus! But again God leaves that choice to us, He will not force any of us to choose Him.
Romans 6:16 Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (vs. 23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yes, that said FREE GIFT!! Does that not hit home especially around the time everyone is trying to give gifts that so often put us in debt?! Jesus offers eternal life… for FREE, we must only choose to believe in His death on the cross in our place, for our sin, for all our ridiculous choices, in order to be made new and receive eternal life with Him! For Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death for us!
There is no greater love than His. Will you choose to accept it today? Maybe you have… then will we choose to give it away like Joseph did… like Jesus does? Freely.
…Freely you have received; freely give. Matt. 10:8
Independent Read: 1 John 4:7-8 (kNOw God, kNOw love)