History has a way of casting big shadows. Circumstances, events, and even personalities can become larger than life! Stories are told and told again until the stories become legends. Now there’s nothing wrong with history and legendary tales from yesterday. But if we’re not careful, we can come to a place where we pause and look at one another and lament like Elijah, “we are not greater than our fathers!”
The story of the Exodus was epic. It began, like all good stories, with the daring rescue of a baby from a tyrant ruler named Pharaoh. The deliverance of the baby from certain death foreshadows what was to come: the rescued becomes the rescuer!
The unfolding drama fast forwards eight decades. The baby, now an aged gentleman (by modern standards, at least), is challenged by God to become the emancipator of an enslaved people. Before you know it, this 80 year old man, armed with nothing but a stick, is standing before the most powerful man in the world, demanding that the people of God be released. Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. After all, why should he give up a no cost work force? Plagues follow…first one, then another, until the climactic tenth plague elicits the desired response.
The disorganized multitude observe the first Passover and are on their way to the land of promise. Pursued by the fickle Pharaoh and his army, the people cross the Red Sea and are safely removed from harm’s way. Next comes the giving of the Ten Commandments followed by the construction of the first house of worship.
There’s obviously much more to the story, which spans four more decades. Though Exodus doesn’t give us the conclusion of Moses life, Deuteronomy does. Check out these final verses from Deuteronomy 34:10-12: “There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. The Lord sent him to perform all the miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, and all his servants, and his entire land. With mighty power, Moses performed terrifying acts in the sight of all Israel.” (NLT)
That’s quite a story, and that’s quite a reputation! It would appear that these words would serve as the perfect conclusion to such an epic action and adventure drama. But it’s not, for God’s purposes do not evaporate at funerals or rivers. All of the promises of God to the people of Israel are in the process of being fulfilled.
Joshua chapter 1 represents a turn of the page in the ongoing history of Israel. Joshua is not a new story. It’s simply the next chapter in same story.
Tomorrow I’ll get into the text of Joshua 1. But for now, think about this question: Do you believe God’s best for you is in the rear view mirror? Or is the best yet to come?