In the course of the past month, we have undertaken a huge project in our UPTOWN 4th and 5th grade. We offered a Sunday afternoon group called Wreck This Bible. It is an idea to help us see the Bible as a story, a BIG story with a BIG God who has a BIG plan.
Yesterday, we looked at the jump from Exodus to Joshua and from Joshua to Judges.
It's interesting to me that at the end of Moses' life, God and Moses have talk. To sum it up, it's basically God saying-
"Hey Moses. Remember, you won't be able to enter the Promised Land because you disobeyed a while back. Remember? But, all of these peole you have led will get to go in. And I'll be with them. But just so you know, they are going to turn from me and they are going to screw up…a lot! And they will worship other gods because they are just so sinful. Okay. Well – just thought you should know. Oh – tell all of them that before you die. In fact, write a song about it so they will remember it forever."
So, Moses does just that. Imagine that for a parting worship song! Can you imagine closing out a worship service today (let alone closing out a 40 year trip with God's chosen people) to the tune of "God is great! We will fail Him every day! Yeah! Yeah!"
Kind of catchy.
Years later, Joshua is about to die after leading God's chosen nation into the Promised Land and seeing God work again and again. Joshua has a similiar end of life speech.
"Hey everyone – you are all sinful. And you are all going to turn away from God. You have a track record of it. You are forgetful. You guys are going to mess up, aren't you?"
All the people said, "Nope! You are sooooo wrong! Never!"
Joshua says, "You really think so?"
All the people said, "Yeah! We love God!"
Then Joshua says, "Okay. If you say so. See that rock over there? That rock heard you say that. So, when you do turn against God, that rock will be able to say you lied. Okay?"
And the people said, "You mean 'if' we turn against God. You said 'when' but you mean 'if' right?"
Then we fall into the book of JUDGES where it's up and down, up and down.
The entire nation of Israel (collectively) lived in defeat (sin) because they could never be good enough to meet God's standard of holiness.
What's interesting to me is that Joshua had to lead this nation into the Promised Land knowing that all of those people would turn against God. But God had a bigger plan- and I suppose that's really the truth of the matter.
Joshua led people to follow God, knowing they would mess up, because he must have known that God had a bigger plan. God had made promises to set Israel up as a holy nation. But then, God says, "they won't follow me." So, we could easily ask Joshua, "What's the point then?! Why bother?!"
I think Joshua would say, "Trust God. Trust everything He says and know there is a bigger plan that what we can see."
That bigger plan was redemption through Jesus. I'm sure Joshua didn't know that at the time. There were no great prophecies yet, but Joshua was willing to do what we say every week at Journey – take the next step whatever the next step is. We could say it simpler. Walk in faith. Trust God. Act on His truth.