I was reading this morning in a book titled “The Unnecessary Pastor”.
Various of the chapters in this book are a commentary on the epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, and where I was reading this morning was a commentary on 1:5.
The author, among other things, writes:
“…One of the problems in churches these days is that we have too many adolescents and not enough sons. To be an adolescent is still to clamor for instant gratification. To be a son in the sense used by the biblical writers is to be trained to fulfill the Father’s mission and to know that always with the rights of sonship come attendant responsibilities. To be a son is to be the agent of the Father and to do the Father’s work. This requires obligation, commitment, and accountability…”
The author is developing a theme that has struck a cord in my mind, and I trust in my heart as well, that worship of God is at the heart of everything.
I have been struck recently with how many times this thought has come up in various contexts.
Our breakfast reading today was in Deuteronomy 31 where Moses tells the people that Joshua would be their leader, under the Lord, as they went into the land to possess it.
Several thoughts came from this passage: It was the Lord’s doing and time; it may have come early because of Moses’s actions at the rock; they were still to understand that dependence on the Lord was necessary.
It was the Lord’s doing and time. Moses was 120, and Joshua in his mid-70s. There was nothing about a prescribed age. It was because the Lord had said it was to be. Moses told the people he was no longer able, but the chronicle tells us that it was because the Lord had directed. Moses would have loved to enter the land, but was not permitted. It is possible that Joshua would have preferred to have Moses there for counsel; but it was not to be. The time had come.
We were struck again with the emphasis on “be strong and courageous … It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Of course, this thought is repeated for us in other places as well.
It is good to remember that Joshua had a long period of training; at least 40 years as the “servant of Moses.”
As each of us seeks to serve the Lord in our God-appointed sphere, may we understand that there will a come a time of “handing over” of our service to another.