Who is God to you?
That question had been on my mind since the past few days. Who is God to me? What is our relationship? The easiest, Christian answer would be “Savior”, the reason being because of what He did on the cross 2000 + years ago. That spiel is very known, and is the most basic fact in Christianity. Without it, we are doomed.
Dubbing somebody as your savior, like putting that label on them, is a reminder that hey, you gotta be good to that guy ‘coz that guy saved your life. And that is nice! I mean, God is our savior. He planned it all since the beginning of time!
But what about beyond that?
God saving us is a one time thing. It’s that single moment on the cross years ago that attaches the word “savior” to God. Now, the question is, who is God to you after He saved you?
In Joshua 22:5, Joshua here reminds the tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh of who God is to them. In context, God promised the western side of the river Jordan to the twelve tribes of Israel. However, these three tribes (two and a half tribes to be exact), decided that, hey the east side is good enough for us and our livestock.
Gadites, Reubenites, half-tribe of Manasseh: MOSES! We decide we’ll have this land on the east side!
Moses: That’s not fair! We wage war while you sit here?!
The tribes: Well, we will build the pens and cities here. But we will come with you and wage war on those heathens on the west side.
Moses: You better do that or else you will be sinning against the Lord.
The tribes: Sure.
I actually do not know if the tribes were that chill about it, but in Joshua, we see that they were a part of the whole Israel Army that laid waste to the kingdoms sitting on the land God promised them. In Joshua 22, when the ward was finished, the tribes had said that Joshua, our part here is over, can we go back to the land Moses gave us? Joshua had responded by reminding them about God’s commands.
“But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to keep His commands, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” – Joshua 22:5
The point here is that, after God saved Israel from the hands of slavery (sin) and delivered them to the promised land (His grace), who is God, then, to them? I want to focus on the second half of the verse.
Love the Lord your God.
Who are the persons that you love?
I think (and this is my opinion alone, I’m no psychologist) that in order for you to love someone, you have to personally know them and have a relationship with them. You’ve got to spend time with them, get to know them as a person, their quirks, good side and bad side. This love is not necessarily romantic, by the way. It could mean love between siblings, or your love to your closest friends, or maybe your love towards your dog. The point is, love is personal.
And that goes with this statement. How would you love God if you do not know Him? Yes, you might have accepted God as your savior, but do you cultivate this personal relationship with him? Do you love Him?
This first statement is saying that, hey the Lord is God, and he is a PERSONAL God. Love Him.
How do you love a person?
I have loved another person once. But the relationship failed ’cause I failed to show my love.
Basically, you do not love by saying I love you. You must SHOW IT.
In order to show our love, we must know the relationship. Is the other person our father? Mother? Friend? Then, we communicate with the person. We listen and we talk to them get to know their needs and wants. We spend time with them, free up our schedule, even sacrifice our time for them.
Then we do things defined by our relationship with him. Joshua outlined this in the next part of the verse. To love God is:
“To walk in obedience to Him” – He leads, we follow.
“To keep His commands” – Know what He says. Listen to Him.
“To Hold fast to Him” – Be with Him always. Talk to Him.
“To serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” – Give yourself to Him.
God is a jealous God. He wants to be the only God in our lives. And this is how we love Him.
I have been told by my sister to keep the word count low, so I’ll write this in parts.