Thursday, April 29, 2010

Discuss This Verse

I need your help! I can't do it alone.

If one single person engages in this exercise with me it will significantly increase my chances of doing this again. As I learn about myself, I have found that I need conversational interaction to grow in my own understanding. That's why I'm not exaggerating in the least bit when I say I need your help!

Read the short excerpt (look up further context if you desire), share your thoughts, or ask questions that come to mind:

The Lord said to Joshua "...Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:6-9)

Some questions to help spark reflection:

What purpose is given to Joshua's life?
What guidance is given to Joshua to accomplish this purpose?
Success is promised, how is this success to be understood?
What servant of God was more successful at God's purpose for their life then any other human being?


ET said...

This is a classic Sunday school lesson the importance of Scripture and being inline with God's word. You mean to say there is more to it that just that? :P

I still think the Sunday school interpretation is very valid - Joshua was living in a world with specific instructions given from God through Moses. Many people were straying and were perishing. Joshua was chosen to lead the people into the promise land and this was his guide - to follow the words of the Law. Following those words, and meditating on them would help make sure his mission would be accomplished. I'm sure he saw the failings of his predecessors due to failing to follow the law.

Even though these instructions are given to Joshua, I think Scripture repeatedly talks about the importance of studying the Law and fulfilling it, thinking about things from above, being in communion with God. Those are all things that will lead us to fulfill our mission and be successful. This looks differently for everybody but I believe this success is first and foremost manifesting in having the peace that God is in control of our lives and we are living in His will. That peace gives confidence in whatever situation we face. Naturally this will then be success in other aspects of life - relationships, school, work, etc. Whatever God wants us to be doing, we will be successful in it.

Just my 2 cents.

DK said...

I feel where the classic Sunday school lesson is misleading is it says "do what God says and you will get what you want". You really get at it in your last paragraph; CLEARLY Joshua's "success" is defined as God's plan for Israel. It's not a life plan that Joshua dreamed up for himself.

Joshua was seeking after God, to know God, that God's purpose may be fulfilled through his life. That is the goal! Not legalism in exchange for earthly success.

You are totally right, such a deep sense of peace and confidence in life, no matter how hard or chaotic life seems to be around us.

I would answer my last question with Jesus being the most successful man to ever live because he perfectly fulfilled God's purpose for his life. Was it easy? Was it painful? Was he wealthy? Did a live a long life with his family and friends? Did he every cry because God's purpose for his life was hard?