Sit In One Chair
“When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song,” tenor Luciano Pavarotti relates. “He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice…a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy, took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college.
On graduating, I asked my father, ‘Shall I be a teacher or a singer?’ “‘Luciano,’ my father replied, ‘if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.’
“I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera.
And now I think whether it’s laying bricks, writing a book–whatever we choose–we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that’s the key. Choose one chair.” (Gordon)
At the end of the book of Joshua, we find that Joshua is approaching the end of his life. So he gathers the people together for a kind of farewell speech. It’s found in Joshua 24.
In it, he challenges the people to make a commitment, to sit on one chair, to serve the one true God.
The Motivation For Obedience
In the first part of the speech he reminds them of how God had taken them out of Egypt, led them through the wilderness, and then into the Promised land. Speaking God’s words, Joshua says,
Joshua 24:13 And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat.
Rehearsing God’s blessings was a good way for Joshua to begin his challenge to the people to make a serious commitment to the Lord. It’s always good to meditate on the goodness of God in our lives as a motivation to obey him.
Every Christian should daily bring to mind what Jesus has done for them. He went to the cross so that we would not have to.
He set us free from the penalty of sin, from the power of sin, and one day, we will be completely free from the presence of sin.
Those truths should spur us on to obedience, an obedience that flows from gratitude and love for a God who spared not his own Son for us.
After reminding them of the blessings that God had given them in order to motivate them, Joshua challenges them. He says to the Israelites,