Joshua 24:1-28; Luke 20:41-47; Psalms 89:38-45; Proverbs 21:4
OT: “Therefore, fear the Lord and worship him in sincerity and truth. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and worship the Lord. But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship — the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15 CSB)
This is probably the defining passage of the book of Joshua. Joshua begins with the word to be strong and courageous and trust the Lord. It ends with the statement, “choose who you will worship… as for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” The word translated as worship here is the Hebrew word ‘abad’ which means serve. The phrase ‘in sincerity and truth’ means completely and faithfully. The question that Joshua was asking was, “Who is going to be your master? Whose word are you going to honor? Whose will are you going to obey? Whose ways are you going to follow?“ His charge and challenge to the people was to make the Lord God their master and to serve Him completely and faithfully. As for me and my family, our Lord and Master is the Lord God, and it is He that we primarily serve.
NT: “While all the people were listening, he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.”” (Luke 20:45-47 CSB)
Jesus warned His disciples of the scribes. Why? Though they appeared to honor the Lord, they were actually only concerned with serving their own interests. The Lord God was not their master. Though they were experts of the Law, they did not truly worship the Lord and honor His word. They knew the word of God, but they didn’t know the God of the word. Their god was themselves. How much of what we do in the name of Christianity is actually serving the word, will, and ways of the Lord; and how much of it is serving our own interests and preferences?
Proverbs: “The lamp that guides the wicked — haughty eyes and an arrogant heart — is sin.“ (Proverbs 21:4 CSB)
The wicked are wicked because of what leads them. Haughty eyes and an arrogant heart are completely contrary to worship. The wicked are wicked because they have rejected the Lord and have chosen to lift themselves up as gods and follow their own desires. That was the essence of what led man to sin: considering his own understanding to be better than God’s, pursuing his own way to greatness instead of God’s way, and making a name for himself instead of serving God’s interests first. It is the essence of sin now. The antithesis of sin is the worship of God alone.