A History Lesson
We are all familiar with the thrilling account of Israel entering and fighting for the Promised Land. We are convicted by the lack of faith that the first group of men who spied out the land exhibited. And we are encouraged by the faith that Joshua and the people demonstrated when they finally did enter the land and won that first battle at Jericho.
In between that lack of faith (the spies) and the expression of faith (the battle at Jericho), Moses gave a history lesson to the people. That history lesson was Israel’s first business meeting before entering the Promised Land. At that meeting, Moses reminded the people of previous years. He talked about their relationship with God and how God had both disciplined and been faithful to them. Moses reminded the people of the promises of God to give them this particular land. Moses quotes the Lord’s words in Deuteronomy 1:8:
“8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land the LORD swore he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”
Whenever the people followed through on the promises of God, His presence would be them, no matter the obstacles.
During this history lesson, Moses confessed his own sense of being overwhelmed by the challenge of leading the people and taking the land. He recalls telling the people in Deuteronomy 1:9-12
"At that time I said to you, 'You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone.' The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky. May the LORD, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself?"
The answer to his burden was:
"Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you. So, Moses built a team of people who stood with him to lead, to deal with problems and to follow the Lord together."
Like Israel, we have a business meeting on June 2 where we also will look to our recent past and to the coming year. Like Moses, we will review God’s promises to us and rejoice in his presence. Bethel’s business meetings have often felt like a worship service that is a highlight of the year.
Once again, in the same way that Moses confessed at that meeting that he felt overwhelmed at leading the people, it would be natural for us to feel something similar at Bethel church. James Armstrong will be moving to a new ministry and we will be seeking the Lord for new leadership. However, in the same way that Moses was encouraged by building a team of wise, understanding and respected men, we can take heart that we actually have a strong group of leaders who are actively bearing the load and leading together. At the business meeting, we will present a panel of those leaders who will answer many of the questions that we all have as we enter a new year. The panel will represent the leadership from all of our campuses.
It is amazing how much we have in common with Israel as they met and prepared themselves for a new year of taking the ground that God had given them. Like them, at our meeting, we will review God’s work among us in the past year and we will look to where he leads us this next year. Like them, we will be encouraged by God’s promises and presence and by the people he has given us to help us follow him. Come join us for our Annual Celebration and Business Meeting
on June 2 at 6P. We won’t meet in the desert at the foot of a mountain but we will meet in our auditorium.