17 August 2011

The Great Commandment

Joshua 23:11 Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

Does it not strike you as an amazing thing that you and I have to WORK at loving God?  That we have to do it on purpose?  That we have to “take good heed” to ourselves to make sure we keep the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37)?  It seems so simple and at the same time so daunting a charge.  But in light of everything we know about God, doesn’t it seem loving Him supremely would just be automatic?  Doesn’t it seem like it’d just happen naturally?  How could we HELP but love the Lord!

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

To me, Joshua 23:11 serves as a sad statement on human nature.  A sad reminder of our tendency to lose sight of the amazing love God has for us.  A sober warning on how quick we are to forget.    

In the context and into chapter 24, Joshua recounts all the wonderful things that God had done for the nation of Israel – from the call of Abraham, to deliverance from Egypt, to protection and provision in the wilderness, to victory and conquest in the land of Canaan.  And right in the middle of all that is this directive to take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.

I know I should love God.  I know I have all the reason in the world to do so.  And I do.  Definitely not as much as I should, but I do.  And I realize that based on the word of God, living life in this mortal flesh on this sin-cursed earth, it’s something I had better continue to work at.  Something I had better cultivate.  Something I had better grow.  A choice I had better make on a daily basis. 

In these last days, iniquity abounds, and the love of many has waxed cold (Matthew 24:12).  Many have gone the way of the Ephesians and have left their first love (Revelation 2:4).  May the Lord help us continually kindle in our hearts a constant and genuine love for Him.