Summary: Chapter 7 of The Story
The Battle Begins!
The Story – Chapter 7
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”
IN THE BEGINNING – (in chapter one of The Story) God created everything (galaxies, stars, planets, moons, mountains, oceans, rivers, streams, birds, fish, thundering volcanoes, towering red woods, … etc)
ALL AS A BACKDROP – for His greatest desire, His greatest passion… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:27
UNDERSTAND - The reason behind everything (the reason behind all of creation) is God’s desire to have a relationship and do life with His people.
NOW IT – all started in a garden paradise. A perfect environment where God could walk and talk and enjoy an intimate relationship with the people He created. HE MADE – everything available to them, except one thing… AND THEY – choose that one thing that was forbidden… FOREVER – banishing themselves – and us – from God’s presence.
SO GOD – took another approach to doing life with His people. HE CREATED – a nation through who He would reveal Himself.
AND AFTER – preserving His people during a famine and delivering them from slavery in a foreign land… by unleashing His limitless power on the Egyptian Empire. GOD – was ready to lead His people – into a new land. The Promise Land…
A LAND – was if you will, gardenlike…
A LAND – flowing with milk and honey.
A LAND – where God could build this nation out which he would reveal His presence, His power, and His plan for all people to come back into a relationship with Him.
A LAND – where God would no longer just interact with certain individuals or just talk to a few people, BUT WHERE HE – would begin to share life with the entire nation because they now had a:
• A standard to follow (the Law and Commandments)
• A place for His presence to dwell (the tabernacle & arc of the covenant)
• And a means by which a sinful people could approach a Holy God (the blood of an innocent, blameless and spotless sacrifice).
A LAND – that God’s people stood on the edge of entering just a little over a year out of Egypt and captivity… BUT BECAUSE – they lacked the faith to go in and take possession of it… they were forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years…
GOD – was leading His people… to A LAND – they could not enter… BECAUSE - they were not there yet. BECAUSE - they were not yet the people they needed to become… (content, trusting in and dependant on God alone, different than the world around them, obedient and devoted to God above ALL things)…
Maple Grove, remember that…
Being God’s people was never about geography, instead it was always about becoming a people who would reveal, reflect and display God’s person, power and purposes throughout the world.
AND REMEMBER, also that…
God’s intent has always been to shape the lives of His people in such a way that they point the people of this world to the incredible sweetness of being in a relationship with Him.
YES – as we said last week as we wrapped up…
What the world needs to see is the REAL THING…
Maple Grove, welcome to Chapter 7 of The Story!
A 31 week journey that will take up the bulk of the year 2013… From January – September! A journey where we are using this book as our guide.
AND LIKE I SAID – when we set out on this journey…
IF WE - really lean into This Story during the next 31 weeks we will have a comprehensive (big picture) understanding of the Bible like never before. AND UNDERSTANDING – that will serve us well in life and in this pursuit to become who we were created to be.
NOW - Chapter 7 of The Story opens up this way… (and who read chapter 7 this week?)