Thursday, February 16, 2006

Choosing for Your House

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Joshua 24:15)
Joshua made his choice. He made it not only for himself, but for his family and all who were in his house. Such is the authority and power of inheritance. Such is the authority and power of a father. Everything we do, every decision we make, will have great influence upon the direction and destiny of our family.

Adam learned this the hard way. When he chose to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he established the destiny for all his sons and daughters who would come after him. Ever since then, the whole world has experienced both good and evil, agonizing to sort between the two, and suffering the unintended consequences of Adam’s rebellion. Fortunately, God had a plan for redemption, which would come through the family line of Adam and Eve. We read the first mention of this promise in Genesis 3:16. Adam and Eve received this good news by faith, and the possibility for salvation has also been passed down to all their generations.

We read of Noah’s decision:
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrew 11:7)
Noah chose for his household when he decided to believe and obey the LORD, and his family was spared from destruction. Had he chosen differently, you and I would not be here.

God said of Abraham,
And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” (Genesis 18:17-19)
Abraham believed the promise made to him and his descendants. In fact, he believed even before he had any descendants. God was not choosing Abraham; He was establishing in Abraham a whole new household. When Abraham believed God, he was choosing not just for himself, but for all those who would come after him.

Isaac, son of Abraham, chose to believe the covenant, and he passed it on to his sons.

Jacob, son of Isaac, chose to receive the covenant. At Bethel, he wrestled with God until God blessed him. Then in his old age, Jacob gathered his sons together and passed the blessing on to them (see Genesis 49). From him came the twelve tribes of Israel, and from one of them, Judah, came the promised Messiah.

The Old Testament is full of examples where one person’s decision established the destiny for their household. In the New Testament, also, we read of:
  • Cornelius. He obeyed the vision of God which instructed him to send for Peter. Peter came and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to Cornelius’ entire household. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the Word” (Acts 10:44). Then they were all baptized in the name of the Lord (v. 48).
  • Lydia. “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay’” (Acts 16:14-15).
  • The Philippian Jailer. He cried out, “What must I do to be saved.” Paul and Silas said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). They preached to him and all his house and ended up baptizing every one of them. “Now, when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household” (v. 34). The jailer’s decision brought salvation to all his house. But what if he had gone through with his original plan to kill himself?
  • Stephanas. Paul said, “Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas” (1 Corinthians 1:16). Stephanas’ decision to receive Christ opened the door for salvation to come to his whole household.
  • Onesiphorus. Paul wrote, “Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus” (2 Timothy 4:19). The faith Onesiphorus had permeated his household so much that Paul greets them along with the rest of the church under Timothy’s leadership.
  • Lois and Eunice. Paul said to Timothy, “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” ( 2 Timothy 1:5). The choice Lois made carried through to her daughter, and even influenced the destiny of her grandson, Timothy.
Be encouraged. The choice you make to honor the LORD will greatly influence the destiny of your entire household for the good. Choose wisely.