“Dear God, Why did Joshua keep saying ‘servant of the Lord your God’ when he was referring to Moses when the people already knew that?”
We’ve tried various ways to encourage our kids to read their Bible daily but it always ends up to be dreaded routine. My desire is that they will discover the Bible to be exciting dialogue with an awesome God – not rules and regulations that threaten their enjoyment of this gift of life.
Over the past year my nearly ten year old son as become absorbed in a book series called A Series of Unfortunate Events. The stories are filled with conflict, mystery, and sadness. Lemony Snicket is a great author but he can’t match the real life series of unfortunate events found in the Old Testament.
So, I encouraged...uh suggested...ok, I told my son to read the book of Joshua and write something in his journal each time he reads – a question, thoughts that intrigued him, anything that came to mind while reading. The question beginning this blog is from him.
The thing I love most about studying the Bible with kids is their questions. So why did Joshua keep referring to Moses as “servant of the Lord your God” when the Israelites already knew that about Moses? My simple response, “I don’t know.” But let’s think about that question.
We have had some outstanding leaders in our contemporary Christian culture - people like Mother Teresa and Billy Graham. Most of us see these individuals as exceptional people who have done far greater things than we could ever do. But the truth is they are simply servants of the Lord your God. Well, that is if Yahweh of the Old Testament is your God.
When I asked my son if he knew what “lord” meant, he responded with the common reference to Lord as a ruler in a kingdom. I suggested he think of Lord as in landlord – one who owns property that someone else uses for a period of time.
Look around you: Everything you see is God's - the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. Deuteronomy 10:14
Perhaps Joshua was simply reminding the Israelites not to worship Moses for his accomplishments – or fault him for his “self-moments” that kept him from entering the promised land. The same should hold true for us today. Mother Teresa and Billy Graham are examples of outstanding leadership not because of what they accomplished but because they show us how to be servants of the Almighty God.
God gave me a dream of speaking but even if I don’t step foot in the promised speaking arena, I want my kids to remember me as a servant of the Lord their God.
How about you? Are you focused more on accomplishing the tasks in which your Lord has allowed you to participate or being his servant each step along the way? It’s a question I have to ask myself every day.