Summary: This sermon deals with the need to let go of our past and move into what God has for us for the future.
Letting Go And Moving Forward
Now most of us in Cleveland know that Lebron James is our star basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lebron is truly an awesome and incredible athlete. Very few people can make the jump from high school to the pro’s and become such a powerful influence in the NBA in as short time as he has. This past week Lebron was injured in a game. Now suppose for a moment, that you picked up the phone, and on the other end was a call from the Cavs general manager. The manager said, “Look Lebron is going to be out for the rest of the season, and we want you to take his place on the team and provide the same leadership and skillful playing that he does? Could you come down and sign a contract with us.”
Now a few of us might be misguided enough to respond “yes, I’ll will be there for practice today if you need me.” But most of us are going to say, “are you sure you have the right number. I think there may have been a mistake. Who did you say you want to speak to again? Yeah that’s my name, but maybe you intended to reach somebody else with the same name as mine. Thank you for calling, goodbye. Now why would you give up this opportunity without even trying for the team? Because you’re thinking, “they expect me to replace Lebron James on the basketball court.”
Now that same feeling is how Joshua felt when God told him to replace Moses. What kind of stats did Moses have. Well he had been a prince in the royal palace of the king of Egypt, but he gave it up in order to side with a group of slaves. He led a rebellion against one of the most powerful nations on earth, without an army and won. He carried a staff that he threw on the ground and it turned into a snake. When he was trapped by the Egyptian army in the back, and the Red Sea in front, he lifted his staff and the sea parted in the middle so that everyone could walk through dry land.
He asked God for food, and everyday it appeared on the ground. He asked God for meat, and thousands of birds flew in to be fried. When they ran out of water, he hit a rock and out flowed the water. He talked to God face to face, so that when he finished his face was so bright you could barely look at him. He spoke the words and a small earthquake destroyed his enemies.
He used an army made up of slaves to defeat some of the most fierce nations in the area. He led the people for 40 years and got reviews of excellence as a leader year after year. He led the people right up to the promised land that God had promised them. At 120 when he died, his eyesight was as good as ever, and his body as healthy as any young man. His funeral lasted for thirty days.
The words on his tombstone are from Deuteronomy 30:12 and they read “For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did the sight of all Israel. Now those my friends are some statistics that are hard to break. Moses’ record remain intact until Jesus came.
Previously, Joshua had been Moses’ kind of personal assistant. He knew what Moses could do and had done. For forty years he had Moses had talked about what it was going to be like to be in the promised land together. They had hopes and dreams for themselves, for their families and for all the people. God had said they would wander for forty years in the desert, and the wandering in the desert time was about over. Moses was the only one of his generation left among the men, and Joshua and Caleb were the only ones left of their generation among the men.
Just as everything was coming together, when you could literally see the promised land in sight from the mountaintop, Moses died. This great and awesome leader that was loved and revered by so many died. The people would have to face some of the most powerful armies to date, without their leader. They would be going into land they had not spied out for 40 years, and who knows what would happen. In the past when they were losing a battle, all they had to do was to hold up Moses’s arms and their army would start winning. But now they were no arms to hold up. They didn’t even know where Moses was buried because the Lord buried him.