Last weeks blog from Darren was all about foundations and it was great. Not only for the time we are in now but it also provoked me to take a bit of a step back to take stock of not only the foundations that my “house” is built on but to also take a good look at the “house” itself.
In this blog I want to take a look at another question, we’ve asked ourselves:
What does my house stand on?
Now I want to take a look at:
What does my house stand for?
It’s an interesting question for me. So where do we start?
There is a verse that has been engrained in my head for a long time now and I feel like it has something to contribute to this idea.
Joshua 24:15 (NIV)
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”
If our houses stand for God then I would suggest that we display that in the way we serve Him. Historically soldiers and armies would have banner-men that held the sigil or crest of their kingdom/leader. This showed everyone else around them, either in travel or on the battlefield, that they stood for something/someone. What is the banner that we hold? Does our banner reflect the image of God?
Joshua was a great military leader and he provides a great model for obedience. He had the experience of serving as Moses’ assistant and was one of the two adults that survived the exodus from Egypt, he served despite the hardships that the Israelites faced throughout Exodus and he finally led the Israelites in to the promised land.
Joshua was one of the twelve spies in Numbers to come back with a good report of the promised land:
Numbers 14:6-9 (NIV)
“Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
What can we learn from this?
Joshua stood for God with his words. Both Joshua and Caleb were vocal in rebuking the doubts of the rest of the Israelites. We know at this point that there were over two million Israelites so for these two men to stand and rebuke their doubts was a bold and courageous move, especially when the other ten spies were advocating to stone Moses and elect a new leader.
Joshua stood for God with his actions. The passage reads that Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes, something that culturally was a sign of mourning and grief in the Israelite culture. They did this in order to convey the depth of conviction that they had to obeying God and following His plan. They wanted to show the rest of Israel how important it was to follow God’s instructions.
As a new parent I’m really minded that my actions set the example for my child and I want to make sure that I’m giving her the best example to follow that I can. In the same way, Moses was a spiritual father to Joshua and his steadfast tenacious obedience was one of the key characteristics that Joshua learned and gained from him. I want to be able to show my daughter that my house stands for God, for His plans and purposes, even in times where others might come against me for it and throughout times of joy and hardship, just like Joshua did.
So here are a few points and and questions for us to pray over and consider:
What does my house stand on?
What does my house stand for? (What does my banner say?)
Will I serve the Lord even when it’s ‘undesirable’?
Take a look at who your ‘Moses’ is and who your ‘Joshua’ might be. It might be your child, it might be a friend and you might have more than one. It’s important that we are intentional about this to build a culture that stands for God, the tribes of Israel could be viewed as twelve houses, in the same way we as a congregation and as the wider church should work in harmony to stand as one people made up of many houses standing for God.
I pray that we would stand firm with God as our foundation and that our banner would be a reflection of his greatness, grace and love. That we would be intentional about setting a culture of standing for God in our homes and communities.