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Oct 07, 2018
Preacher: Robert Hawker
Passage: Joshua 24:15

Serve the Lord

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord

(JOSHUA 24:15)

Reader, art thou a parent, a father, or a master?…consider the souls of thy household as entrusted in some sort to thee, and suffer not “those souls to perish” through thy neglect, for whom Christ died. How agonizing will be the interview between such cruel and irreligious parents and their unhappy children at the last day! What dreadful reproaches! How painful the accusations which the children will throw upon them! And with what a piercing bitterness will the sound of their cries enter into their ears! and let it be observed that these matters will be in an increased proportion of evil between those tender relations, where the parent hath attended to every thing in this life for his child’s interest but the “one thing needful.” The more solicitous and provident he hath proved, as the father and the friend, in the concern of this world’s good, the more bitter will be the reflection, for not having regarded the important concerns of a better. Let the mind conceive, if possible, the horrors with which the prayerless father will hear the accusation from the son or daughter of his own bosom, in terms perhaps like these:—“Ah, cruel parent! was this the seeming tenderness with which you studied my happiness in yonder world, in contriving every amusement and pleasure for my enjoyment, while leaving me ignorant of that in which alone true happiness is founded, and for the want of which I am miserable forever?”

Reader, art thou a parent? and dost thou call thyself a tender parent? wouldest thou be displeased to be accused of inattention to thy children’s welfare? Attend, then, to that which concerns their welfare indeed! even their eternal welfare; and know, that void of this, though thou labor night and day for their earthly comfort, and though thou leave behind thee the riches worldly possessions to thy children, and to thy children’s children, yet art thou infinitely worse and more foolish than the senseless ostrich of the wilderness, who “leaveth her eggs in the dust,” and is regardless of every attention to her young. Oh, may the eye that reads this, if he stands neither of the relative situations of the head of a family, and among the unhappy characters who neglect household devotion, be awakened to an instant discharge of it! and may the prime mover and hearer of all prayer be graciously pleased to pour out the Spirit of supplication upon him from on high!

But perhaps thou art one, of those who art so far awakened as to feel an anxiety for thy own personal salvation, and art attending upon the means of grace thyself, but hast not set up religion in thine house. This is one of those unaccountable problems which excites the wonder of men and angels; what a contradiction is such a man’s life to himself! Anxious to discharge one duty, and neglectful of all the rest! In secret serving God, but ashamed to do it openly! It would be a most unnecessary service to offer any argument upon this point. A moment’s reflection is enough to convince every man of this complexion both of his iniquity and his danger. Awake, awake, therefore, from this delusion, and let not the fear of Man any longer bring a snare. Attend only to that cutting expostulation of God by the prophet, which is enough to drive out all lesser fears: “Who art thou that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and, the son of man which shall be as grass and forgettest the Lord thy Maker?” May this awful consideration be so accompanied with divine grace as to operate to the purpose intended!

…reader, I take my leave. Farewell! Let not a stranger, and perhaps unknown; feel this concern for thy eternal salvation, and thou remain uninterested. Add but thy prayer to his, and God will bless the means to the end intended: and however the fashion of the world may be against this great duty (a world whose customs are declared enmity to God;) however “fools make a mock of sin, and scorners delight in scorning,” let nothing intimidate thee from taking up the resolution of Joshua, and saying “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

And excerpt from Five Minutes’ Advice To Prayerless Persons and Families new on our bookshelf

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