We all dream of a promised land “somewhere over the rainbow.”
If Israel kept the covenant and served the Lord, they could abide in their promised land.
Before he died, Joshua gathered all of Israel, and said to them, “…choose this day whom you will serve… as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
It’s the most cross-stitched Bible verse in all America. That’s Joshua 24:15.
In Joshua 24: 19, Joshua says, “You are not able to serve the Lord.”
Because they find serving the Lord to be unpleasant, they are commanded to choose their idols. This is the portion of verse 15 neglected in all cross-stitch patterns sold in Bible bookstores in modern America. They can choose evil, but they are unable to choose the Good.
A careful reading of the Old Testament reveals that God never commands people to “choose” the Good. He never says, “Choose to love;” but He does say, “You will love.” “You will Love” is His Choice and His Word. Reality itself is a manifestation of God’s Word.
So, if I choose to not love, perhaps I’m not actually “me,” but a false “me.”
And I have been exiled from the garden that is my own soul.
The people say, “We will choose to serve the Lord.”
Joshua records their words (maybe in cross-stitch), and erects a monument at a tree just outside the sanctuary—as “a witness against them” that they have “dealt falsely with their God.”
The name “Jesus” is simply the Greek, and anglicized, form of the Hebrew name, “Joshua.”
The cross is a tree erected just outside the sanctuary.
It is a witness against us that we have dealt falsely with our God.
And it is a witness for us that He has dealt faithfully with us.
It is a witness against us that we took the life of Joshua/Jesus.
And it is a witness to us that Joshua/Jesus gave us His Life, and made us His house.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” says Jesus.
The question is not, “Can I choose Jesus?” but, “Am I at home with Jesus in His house . . . that is me, the true me?”
If I am, I will serve the Lord.
Be at home with Jesus, for He has always been at home in you.
“Somewhere over the rainbow” is in the depths of your heart.