We Will Worship the Lord

This year I’ve switched to the CSB translation of the bible for my reading plan instead of the ESV I’ve used for the past several years. And this morning, what a difference it makes.

“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)

I’m guessing that for many of us that last sentence in verse 15 rings a bell of familiarity. Yet, something’s different. Chances are that you learned that “me and my family” part a bit differently.

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

(Joshua 24:15b ESV . . . and NIV and NASB and NKJV)

Other than Peterson’s MESSAGE bible, of the translations I go to for cross-referencing, the CSB is the only one that goes with “worship” rather than “serve.”

Hmm. . . starts me chewing on the difference — or not — between serving the Lord and worshiping the Lord.

Our western church culture might have us immediately associate worship with singing rather than serving. You know, we go to church, and we worship, we hear the word preached, we give our offering, then we go home. So, what’s the CSB implying by using the word “worship” synonymously with “serve”?

The context of Joshua’s charge is Joshua’s final address to the Israelites, the people of God, those who have entered the promised land and divvied up their promised, God-given inheritance. The over-arching topic of this final address is obedience and loyalty to God (Joshua 23:6-8, 11, 16). So, in the midst of an exhortation to obedience, Joshua talks about “serving” God above all other gods. Or, as the CSB would have us process it, “worshiping” God above all other gods. Who we serve is who we worship. Who we say we worship will be verified by who or what we serve.

Seems in line with Paul’s exhortation to the Romans.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship.

(Romans 12:1 CSB)

True worship goes beyond singing. It’s certainly not less than continually offering a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips (Heb. 13:15), but it is equally certainly so much more. True worship, worship that is in Spirit and truth (John 4:24), is worship that involves the whole body — all its faculties, all its extremities, all its activities. True worship is evidenced in an authentic desire to be obedient. True worship is manifest when all that we do we do for the glory of God (1Cor. 10:31).

As for me and my house, we will worship the Lord. Easy, if all I’m thinking about is participating in the “prelims” on a Sunday morning before the message. A little more challenging if it’s about serving God 24/7. It’s downright intimidating if it’s about presenting my body as a living sacrifice.

Yet, it’s absolutely possible through the power of the gospel which gloriously saved me and now patiently sanctifies me. As it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20). No longer I who serve, but WE who serve Him together. No longer I who worship, but the Spirit who worships through me.

We will worship the Lord. Me and Jesus in me. Me and the Spirit through me.

Me, by God’s grace. Me, for God’s glory.


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1 Response to We Will Worship the Lord

  1. Audrey Lavigne says:


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