This school year some of the high school students from Willowtree and I started a program that basically involves doing a Bible study and hanging out. It has been both really fun, and a good time in community, whether that means getting free food with the McDonalds app, trying to convince one another why our word for Scattergories or Last Word should be worth a point, seeing who the worst video game player is, watching hilarious movie previews, or just talking about life.
For our Bible study we have been studying the Israelites leaving Egypt for the Promised Land. The main focus of the study has been about trusting in God not just to forgive us of our sins but to have Jesus LIVE through us. One cool thing that has come out of this study for me started based on a reaction the youth often expressed, and, as I thought about it, I had as well. "Why would the Israelites walk all the way around countries, when God said they could just pass through them..." Especially after God helped them escape from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea! Basically, throughout this story, even to us who did not make promises to the Israelites, the Israelites fear, reminiscing about Egypt and lack of trust is frustrating and seems stupid.
While it is easy for the youth and I to be critical of Moses and the Israelites I think that this past week when we read Joshua 1:1-3 it also brought to life, for myself and I think for some of the youth as well, something that I have heard and read multiple times about God before. God doesn't change.
… “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses."
As one of the youth pointed out that is just a really cool verse. God promised Moses that He would give the Israelites the land of Canaan and after Moses death and 40 years of not trusting God's words in the desert, God promised Joshua and the Israelites the exact same thing he promised Moses. God did not give up on the Israelites or change His principles or His promises. How exciting is it to have a God, that has not only given us everything we need in a life with Jesus, but also a God that keeps the offer of a life with Jesus available to us no matter how long it takes us to trust in that promise!