TiO 15 – The Story – The Battle Begins

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The Main Idea

Now that Moses is dead the leadership of the people of Israel falls to Joshua. You’ll remember that he was one of the spies (along with Caleb) who was confident that the people of Canaan would fall in the face of God. The story of Joshua is one of obedience and a renewal of the idea that God is a holy God and that the land needed to be prepared for his people to live in it. There are, frankly, some hard and bloody incidents in Joshua but through it all the supremacy of God over all the nations and the need for the people of God to be pure comes through clearly.

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1:  Finish this sentence: “War, what is it good for?”

Q2: Do you come from a pacifist tradition? How were you taught (school, home, church) to view violence?

Q3: In thinking about Kirsten’s sermon, what questions or insights about this part of The Story did you come away with?

War and the bloody nature of ancient near-Eastern society is a stumbling block for some people as they consider the Old Testament as a description of God and his relationship with people. It is clear from chapter 6 in The Story that sometimes God comes with a sword and that sword is wielded by his people. As followers of Jesus we acknowledge the Old Testament and the New Testament in combination as the written revelation of God’s relationship with human beings. So, we cannot avoid talking about these things.

Q1: It has often been said that many Christians have Sunday School ideas of the stories of the Bible, that is, we read a story in a children’s Bible and from that point forward we understand the details of that story as the sum-total of the facts. Are there stories from your childhood (or adulthood) that you see differently now that you are looking at them more closely?

Q2: Have you ever been asked by someone who is not a Christian to justify the God of the Old Testament? What did you say?

Q3: “Be strong and courageous.” How does that apply to your life, right now?

Q4: Did you take on the challenge to not complain last week? How did that go for you?

Share with each other about your need to be strong and courageous in the week to come. The pray for each other.

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