In the book of Joshua the Hebrews invade, conquer, distribute, and settle down in the land of Canaan. The events recorded in Joshua took place over approximately 25 years. All the way through, one person stands out as God’s appointed leader and model—the man from whom the book gets its name.
“Familiarity breeds contempt” is an old cliché because it’s nearly always true. However, before contempt, familiarity breeds complacency—a ho-hum attitude that is satisfied with the status quo. If we’re not careful, complacency will then breed cynicism, which is a kissing cousin of contempt.
When Moses died, the Israelites were disillusioned and afraid. When Joshua took over as their leader, God reminded him that God knew exactly where His people were and where He wanted them to go—to the land of promise. All they had to do was trust in the Lord and step out in faith.
Changes are tough. And they were tough for the Hebrews when Moses passed off the scene, and they had a new leader to follow.
In this message, we’ll focus on the problems of “spectatorism” and how we as members of the church body can overcome congregational apathy. The ancient Hebrews were forced to work together and get involved in taking the land of Canaan. In their example, we find some practical direction for our own lives.
Being together in unity is indeed good, “like precious oil,” as David put it in his psalm. Not just being together, but being together in unity. As we shall learn from the ancient account in Joshua, when God is in the midst of His unified people, they are invincible.
Creating a legacy begins with looking back on where we came from and how we became who we are. That’s the purpose of this first lesson: creating a legacy of remembrance.
The 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote 70 resolutions before the age of 20. He knew obstacles were inevitable, so many of his resolutions were written to address this challenge. No matter the difficulties that came before him, he resolved to continue upon the path laid out for him by God. That’s responsibility, which is our topic for this message.
Resolutions are what we determine will happen, based on convictions, personal disciplines, strong purpose, clear vision, or a sense of mission. Predictions are things we anticipate might happen. These are based on assumptions, opinions, trends, or feelings. When you think about it, predictions and worry have a lot in common...they both forecast the future based on assumptions or feelings. They waste your energy and rob you of the joy of living today.
Learning is lifelong, and ignorance is not bliss. Just because you don’t have formal education doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Education comes from all sorts of places. Seek it out, don’t settle for anything less.