"Do not just hear the Word of God and think hearing is enough. DO what it says!" James 1:22

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lesson 3, Servants of God

Joshua 3-5

Our Wrap Up from Mrs. Gettelfinger...

As we began the Wrap Up today, everyone was matched up with two other students (or teachers) so that we had several groups of three people in each group.  Then we participated in an activity of TRUST.  One person stood in the middle of the other two.  The one in the middle had to FALL into the arms of another while the third person held the feet of the person fallimg so they could not step out of the fall.  TRUST plays a huge part of this activity.

The students were asked if they had ever been to Holiday World, our local theme park in Santa Claus, IN.  Many said they had been there.  Many had not.  I explained to everyone that if they had decided to take a trip to HW for the weekend (and let's say they had never been there at all,) they could follow me and I would get them there safely.  I was actually camping at a nearby campground that very weekend.  I shared how my family LOVES visiting Holiday World and that we all have season passes.  I told the students we had been visiting HW since my daughter was just one year old... and she is now almost 15 years old.

So we're proposing the students are taking a trip to HW and they had never been there before.  They're going to follow me and trust that I will get them there safely and surely.  HOW can they trust that I will get them there surely?  How can they truly believe I know the way to HW?

Many of the students were hesitant to answer at first but after being reminded of all the information I shared with them (above,) they began to get the idea.
-My family LOVES visiting Holiday World.
-We have season passes which tells you we've been there many times.
-We've been visiting for the past 15 years.
-We have a camping trip planned that very weekend.

In verse 5 of Joshua chapter 3, Joshua told the people of Israel to "consecrate themselves because the next day God was going to do amazing things."  The people trusted Joshua because they knew many facts about Joshua (as we learned in the first week's lesson through the intro to our study.)  They knew he was Moses's aide.  They knew he could be trusted because he was one of the two original spies who first encouraged Israel to take over the land of Canaan as God had commanded. We know from vv. 16-18 of Joshua chapter 1 the people knew they could trust Joshua.  I believe the people of Israel trusted Joshua and consecrated themselves that day.

God's promises are trustworthy and powerful.

The priests trusted God when they stepped out in faith by placing their feet into a flood stricken, quickly flowing Jordan River.  They probably felt very much like our students felt during our activity of trust when they had to hold, catch, and fall.  "Can I really do this?  Are they really going to catch me?  Is this really going to work?"  The priests KNEW they could TRUST God because of the promises God had already fulfilled in the lives of His people.  Listen... if Rahab -a very badly behaved Gentile woman- admits in vv. 9-10 of Joshua chapter 2 of hearing about God drying up the Red Sea as well as the defeat at Sihon and Og and two kings of the Amorites, then we KNOW God's own people knew these exact same things as well as many other promises God gave and kept.  The priests knew they could trust God and His promises.

God's promises are trustworthy and powerful.

Choosing obedience is simply a REFLEX ACTION to trust.  If you've ever went to the doctor for a physical and had him or her tap your knee, you know that your knee REFLEXES AND KICKS without you even moving it yourself.  It's a REFLEX ACTION that just happens.  That's how it is when we CHOOSE to obey.  Israel trusted God.  They crossed the Jordan River safely onto dry land and then... they had a reflex action... they CHOSE to obey by building a memorial and observing the Passover just as Moses instructed in Exodus 12:24 when he said, "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants."

God's promises are trustworthy and powerful.

Our study of lesson 3 wraps up with God sending an angel to encourage Joshua.  The angel basically told Joshua this... "Dude, God's doing this for you and you have been obedient.  Great job!  Now let's get ready to rumble!"

Has God ever asked you to do something that would cause you to "step out" in great faith -and TRUST- as the Israelites did when they crossed the Jordan?  Is God asking you to do something through which your example might bring others closer to Him (just as Rahab and her family was brought closer to the God of Israel?)  Something like participating with your voice and singing during the worship time... or singing more than you already do (such as helping to LEAD the worship time.)  Something like answering more of the core group questions if you're not use to answering many or any of the questions.  Something like praying out loud or praying more during our prayer time with everyone.  I could go on and on with what God might be asking you to trust Him with but only YOU know for certain.  If you're not sure, pray and ask God how He can utilize you and bless you as He blesses others through you.  

How far are you willing to go to trust God's trustworthy and powerful promises?