Introducing Joshua: The Weight Of Destiny
Vicki Mottram (Sun, 13 Jan 2019)
Vicki started our new series looking at the book of Joshua.
To view Vicki's slides (in PDF format), click here.
The book is written as prophetic history. This means that the emphasis is placed primarily on showing a coherent account of God's plan and action in leading his people into the promised land, rather than on exact historical accuracy.
The story so far - Joshua's life before the events in the book of Joshua
- Born in Egypt.
- Led the army (Ex 17)
- Moses' assistant (Ex 24)
- Sent out as 1 of the 12 spies (Num 13) - Argued to take the land (Num 14)
- Recognised as Moses' successor (Num 27)
The weight of destiny
Joshua knew the law, with all its intricacies and harsh consequences. He had seen the consequences of disobeying God, and the risks of displeasing the people. He had been marked out for great things, and on taking over as the leader of the Israelites, was told 3 times by God to "Be strong and courageous"
How would you have been feeling?
We all have a number of God's promises from scripture that apply to us. Many of us have also received specific words of prophecy.
Think of examples in your life that you have responded to in the following ways:
- Felt like it just clicked into place.
- Made you feel absolutely terrified.
- Left you feeling fairly indifferent.
How should we respond to prophetic words / Biblical promises?
What have you found useful or not useful in the past?
Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice
Vicki Mottram (Sun, 08 Jul 2018)
Vicki spoke from 1 Samuel 15 about Saul and the Amelekites. Saul dealt with the Amelekites, but not in the way that God had told him to do.
Saul and the Amekalites (1 Sam 15)
Moses at Meribah (Numbers 20)
Sometimes the God we see in the Old Testament can seem harsh or petty. This is partly because He wants to get across the message that He is in charge, and we alter His instructions at our peril. When we tweak His instructions, we are taking charge, and saying to God that we know better than Him.
The OT has several overarching themes. One of them is the repeated cycle of the people slipping into meaningless ritual, and God, through the prophets, calling them back into relationship with Him. He has made us for relationship, but it is a relationship which we bring nothing to other than ourselves.
We can slip into 3 particular traps when it comes to dealing with obedience / sacrifice.
1. Trying to make it up to God when we have sinned by sacrificing, when Jesus has already paid for it all.
2. The repetitive cycle of sin and repentance, without change.
3. Slipping out of relationship and into meaningless ritual.
How does the OT portrayal of God differ from our own experience? Why is this?
What does “the fear of the Lord” mean to you?
Sometimes we are so uncomfortable with the absolute power imbalance between us and God that we do daft things to feel the gap has lessened? Can you think of any examples either from scripture or your own experience?