“but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”Joshua 24:15
These words spoken by Joshua to the children of Israel after their conquest of the land, stated the matter very clearly. Regardless of Israel’s choices, Joshua’s commitment to the Lord was firmly fixed. If it seemed evil for them to serve the Lord (an incredible statement to say the least), it would not affect his own commitment one bit—“as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” His resolve was to stay true to the Lord despite the actions of others; he would remain unchanged, and his entire family as well. It was consistent with how he was described in his earlier years, as a person who “did not depart from the tabernacle” (Ex. 33:11). We would say today that he was “the real deal.” When Moses came down from Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments, it was Joshua who accompanied him the rest of the way to investigate the debauchery that was unfolding below (Ex. 32:17-18). It is the divine record that he was never implicated in any of those events, the reason why he is one of the heroes of the faith. What an example of steadfastness! No wonder he was the perfect candidate to lead Israel into their inheritance.
Samuel’s Commitment to Prayer
These words “as for me” was not just the conviction of Joshua but also of other great servants of the Lord. Take for instance, Samuel, who declared “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way” (1 Sam. 12:23). His words “as for me” obviously stood in stark contrast to others who apparently had ceased praying for others. But it would not be that way with him. He was firmly committed to praying for others and for teaching them the good and the right way. It was his own verbal commitment to press on in this important discipline. Continual intercession for the saints and encouraging them in the faith is a worthy goal in our personal walk with Christ. It underscores the truth that the one who will gain life is the one who gives his life in service to the Lord and to His people. It is yet another lesson in the school of God that brings His “well-done.”
David’s Commitment to Worship
David was another hero of the faith that stated this firm conviction. He declared in Psalm 5:7, “As for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of Thy mercies.” It seems these days that many will use any excuse available to absent themselves from the gathering of the local assembly. Anything from health, weather, scheduling conflicts, car problems, and even germs—you name it, all are convenient excuses to stay home. Some reasons may be legitimate, but some can also be stretched. But David did not seem to be looking for a reason to excuse himself from worshipping the Lord. As far as he was concerned, it was his constant delight to come into the house of the Lord and bask in the multitude of God’s mercies. In Psalm 63 we read that he longed for the Lord in a “dry and thirsty land where no water is.” He looked for the Lord in the sanctuary to see His power and glory and to be reminded of His lovingkindness which is better than life (vv. 2-3). When we come into the Lord’s presence with this type of attitude, it will only increase our thanksgiving as we enter His courts with praise. David even affirmed where this worship and his life would eventually lead—right into the very presence of God when he stated, “As for me, I will see your face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied when I wake with thy likeness” (Ps. 17:15). The sons of Korah whose ancestry was checkered at best confirmed this delight when they said: “How amiable are thy tabernacles O Lord of hosts” (Ps. 84:1). They knew more than most of the mercy of the Lord, especially with a person like Korah in their family heritage (Num. 16). Why anyone would absent themselves from this blessing is a mystery to me, unless there is a serious issue going on in their spiritual lives.
Asaph’s Commitment to the Word
Asaph was yet another servant of the Lord who gave utterance to the faithfulness of God when he stated in Psalm 73:2, “But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped. For I was envious of the boastful, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Asaph had been dwelling too long at the lifestyles of the rich and famous and began to despise his present situation. He convinced himself that the wicked of this world were better off than he. That is what happens when we focus on the other side of the fence. The sirens of this world system are very alluring and can easily sway us from the path of faith. If it were not for the grace and mercy of God, where would we be? It looked hopeless for Asaph until he came into the sanctuary of God (v. 17). It was only then that he saw things for what they really were in the light of eternity. It was just opposite of what he had thought. It is what happens when we look more deeply into God’s Word. “Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (v. 25). What a change of attitude took place when he viewed things from God’s perspective. Praise the Lord that He restores His people and brings them back to Himself in His mercy.
These are the solid commitments that these heirs of faith personally, openly declared despite the actions of those around them. It reflects the singlemindedness that the person of faith possesses, regardless of prevailing conditions, cultural trends, or in our day, the ever–occurring winds of change that mark much of evangelicalism. It reflects a deep passion and confidence in the Lord and lines up with the scriptural conviction “As for God, His way is perfect” (2 Sam. 22:31). An exclamation like this is not just a one-time affirmation of faith, but instead an ongoing, deliberate choice of a person who has learned that the just shall live by their faith (Hab. 2:4), and one that affects all areas of our life with the Lord.