I just got back from a long quick business trip. Long in preparation, long in hours, but short in actual days out of town. In trying to pack light, I left my bible at home and justified that decision by telling myself I wouldn’t have time. Bad decision.
As I opened the nightstand drawer I hoped that the Gideons were still in business. And yes, there it was a crisp and sadly unused Gideons bible just waiting for me. I’ve had this thought to read up on the verse about not selling our daughters into prostitution. A person who shall remain nameless has some friends in church who contend that pornography is OK, when viewed with your spouse. I guess if I stretch my mind a bit I can see where this might not violate marriage…no I can’t. It brings the people on the screen into your marriage and this is certainly in you heart even though they are not in the room. And whose young daughters are starring in the movies? I was going to do some reading and solidify my position with scripture.
It crackled as it opened. Inside I found none of the familiar tabs, study notes and no concordance! How will I get anything out of this? I am so used to looking up topics and going to read verses. Resigned to defeat, I just opened up and read.
Now no hard miracles happened. I didn’t just open the book up to God’s exact answer to my daughter question, but I did get a couple of answers I wasn’t expecting.
The first came as I flipped around back and forth grumbling about my lack of memory and concordance, the familiar line “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” jumped out of the page to grab me.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15)
I read it and said to myself yes we do; tried to remember if this is hung up in the living room at home or not; then read the whole verse again slowing down on this version of the Bibles use of words.
choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood
I had only remembered the familiar answer, but not the actual question that was posed. Which side of the flood am I serving? What a cool way of thinking about this; do I want to serve the gods that will have me drowning or the God that Noah serves and get a boat ride? Do we choose to strive for towards a life of sin or goodness? It’s is our choice to receive the instant gratification, but part of that choice package is death by flood. Well as for me and my house, we serve the God of those who caused the flood.
Uuurrrccchhh! Put the brakes on. Hold it! What are the Amorites doing in my neat tidy discovery? Were they part of the picture during Noah’s times? I don’t think so. Well maybe the “flood” was one of those tough words that I need my fancy study bible and reference manuals to understand? Could it be that the “flood” really was a flooded river? Or a sea that flooded after miraculously being parted? Could be that it didn’t matter a hoot because either way or even including Noah’s flood, would give us the same message: Choose between serving God or serving sin. So our answer to the second flood question is still the same; as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD
The second unexpected revelation came also from my Gideon experience. I wanted to go into it in my usual manner of looking up references and etymologies. I wanted a quick reference list of everything God said on the subject. What I had was a stripped down Gideon’s that didn’t allow me all these tools. What I got was a lesson in allowing God’s word to reveal itself. I didn’t come a way with a scripture that addressed this issue specifically, but with a reminder that bible tools and references are man’s tools, the scriptures are God’s tools and are not there to justify any of our positions, but rather to reveal God’s position.
And as for the pornography issue? Which side of the flood is it on?