I was surprised to learn that Punch and Judy have been around since the 1600’s! These marionettes as part of British culture were originally intended for adult entertainment. It was not until the Victorian era that the stories were changed for children. Each story had common themes including: Punch’s bad behavior, struggles with Judy, his wife and the baby, victory over run-ins with the law, and plenty of songs and jokes mixed in. Of course, Punch and Judy had no say in the story line!
Today’s verse is part of a charge Joshua gave the Israelites just before his death. He admonished the people to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully by throwing out the gods of their ancestors. Joshua challenged them to choose! Then comes the often-quoted declaration that he and his household choose to serve the Lord. Our Creator has given us choice. How it works with His sovereignty is a mystery but true nonetheless. There are no puppet strings however. God wants our love and service to be sincere and come from our hearts.
Every day there lies before me a choice in how I will spend those next 24 hours. I can choose to live them for my own selfish pleasure or I can choose to find my pleasure in service to Him! When I choose my own interests over His, it is as if I am choosing the same false gods of those Israelites. But when I choose to serve Him, I feel His pleasure and experience His gracious blessing!
Lord, today I choose You!