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Beginning Again

If you were asked to name a famous basketball player, Michael Jordan might immediately come to mind. Jordan helped the Chicago Bulls claim 6 championships in 8 years and become one of the greatest basketball dynasties of all time. In 1998, Jordan decided it was time to step down. Then head coach, Phil Jackson, departed, and other players were traded or resigned. For the Bulls, it was the end of an era.

The conclusion of Deuteronomy marks the end of an era for God’s people. Moses had successfully led the Jewish people out of Egyptian captivity, across treacherous deserts, and to the Promised Land. However, The Lord prohibited Moses to enter, and he died in Moab (v. 5). The end of Moses’ leadership must have been a gut-punch to the Israelites. After the appropriate time of mourning (v. 8), they were ready to fulfill their God-given destiny and enter the Promised Land, but who would lead them? While the answer may have been unclear to them, God knew who would continue their quest. Joshua was filled with “the spirit of wisdom” which was passed down from his mentor (v. 9). He was now qualified to govern the people because he had been chosen by Moses through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord would continue to be with His people and with Joshua, just as He had been with Moses.

This must have been an exhilarating, yet unsettling time for the Israelites. They stood on the banks of the Jordan waiting and watching. The other side was uncharted territory. They had made it to the edge of the Promised Land, but how would they go forward? Would their new leader be up for the quest?

>> Have you ever had to continue on after your beloved boss, pastor, or co-worker retired? Sometimes the Lord places us in predicaments we are unsure if we can handle. We invite you to journey with us through the amazing and exhilarating quest found in the book of Joshua.

Pray with Us

As we follow the Israelites’ quest to reach the Promised Land, we pray that the Lord will show us what we need to take away from the book of Joshua this month.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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