Archive for the ‘Joshua’ Tag

Milk and Honey anyone?   1 comment

There seem to be two preeminent subjects in the social media airwaves right now. “Quarantine fatigue” as people get tired of social distancing and zoom meetings and that lack of so many things that we used to take for granted. Then there are the relentless “ reopening” conversations; what will it look, like when can we begin, what restrictions will we have to put up with.

Last Sunday I preached a sermon at New Life entitled “Pathways in Suffering.” As I sat and thought about the above, it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps I was missing my own point! When we experience suffering of any kind God has promised to walk with us in it and to walk in a direction, towards a destination. He does not promise to sit with us until we can get back to where we were, where it was comfortable, what we were used to.

I was reminded of the trap the Israelites fell in to as they were led out of Egypt. Egypt had been fine for a while. In fact God had taken them there to begin the work of building them into a nation. However, Egypt was not for ever and things got so intolerable that God sent Moses to deliver them. He promised that if they went with Moses He would take them to the promised land. He promised He would deal with the occupants of the land. There they were to fulfill their role as a prophetic people, showing the world what it looked like to walk in the ways of the Creator of the universe. 

The beginning part of the journey was, of course, very challenging and time and time again they complained to Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt, back to what they knew. Finally they get to the borders of the land flowing with milk and honey and they send a group in to asses the land. They come back with a message that the land is indeed amazing, but the obstacles before them are just too great. There are however two men Joshua and Caleb, who while agreeing that the obstacles are great assert their confidence in God’s power to take them into the land. They are out voted and the consequence, 40 years in the desert!

 I sense that as we look to the future we are in real danger of, perhaps without realizing it, seeking to get back as close as possible to how things were. But the question the will not let me go is what is it God wants to lead us into? Having allowed the pause button to be pressed could it be that He has lead us, “out of Egypt” and now wants us to advance in to “ the promised land?” Could it be that He wants to restore the prophetic role of the church to our communities and to the world.

I realize it is of great importance to think of hand sanitizer, social distancing, and the like for the safety of everyone. But I don’t want to inadvertently allow attention to all the difficult practical aspects of reopening cause me to miss the exciting, mysterious, and new place that God wants to lead us into. I would really like to be a Caleb or Joshua and not end up in a desert, how about you? 

Posted May 14, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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