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    A summons to faith and faithfulness

    Joshua 24:1–3, 14–25 forms part of the lectionary readings for the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost, which is November 8th. This book chronicles the way God provided for the Israelites’ entrance into the promised land. This portion of Scripture also reveals much about the character and nature of God. Specifically, the traits of the Lord are portrayed and clarified as this book shows how God interacted with His people—leading them, protecting them, teaching them, loving them, and making a way for them to fulfill His will for their lives. The bulk Joshua falls into two main divisions: the conquest of the land (chaps. 1–12) and the division of the land (chaps.…

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    Moses, called by God to deliver His people

    Exodus 3:1–15 is part of the lectionary readings for the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, which is August 30th. The account recorded in chapters 1 and 2 relates that Pharaoh believed the enormous number of Israelites living in Egypt were becoming an existential threat to the nation. He therefore ordered that they be enslaved and placed into labor gangs under harsh Egyptian taskmasters (1:9–11). Moses, who by that time had become a prominent member of Pharaoh’s court (Acts 7:22), reacted in anger at the cruelty of an Egyptian who was brutally beating an Israelite slave. For this reason, Moses murdered the Egyptian. Next, at the age of 40 (v. 23), Moses…

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    The God of the Impossible!

    Genesis 17:15-17; 18:9-15; 21:1-7 Time: 2067–2066 b.c. Place: Canaan   Lesson Aim: To learn that God can do what we consider impossible.   Introduction   Promises have fallen on hard times. Once, a person’s word was as certain a guarantee as you could get. Then spoken words became suspect, and the written contract was born. Now we’ve spurned even that symbol of trust. Today it seems there is no contract that can’t be broken in the name of more money, better business, or newer priorities. As it is commonly said, nothing’s ever an absolute guarantee—that is, except God’s Word. When the Lord made His promise to Abraham that Sarah would…

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    Moses, used by God to intervene on behalf of His apostate people

    Title: Moses, used by God to intervene on behalf of His apostate people Aim: To assess how to respond to the temptations we face each day. Scripture: Exodus 32:1–14   Apostasy conceived and enacted, Exodus 32:1-6   Exodus has two principal sections. The first (chaps. 1–18) portrays God as the Savior and Provider of His people. The second (chaps. 19–40) depicts the Lord as being holy and righteous.   Through God’s revelation of Himself, He instructed the Israelites in His sovereignty and majesty, goodness and holiness, grace and mercy. They discovered that the Creator is the one and only Lord of heaven and earth.   Crucial to the narrative is…

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    Moses, called by God to deliver His people

    Title: Moses, called by God to deliver His people Aim: To remember that God is concerned with and involved in our struggles. Scripture: Exodus 3:1–12   God gets Moses’ attention, Exodus 3:1–3   Exodus is a continuation of the narrative that began in Genesis. In fact, the first seven verses of Exodus repeat information from the final chapters of Genesis. Furthermore, the first verse of Exodus indicates that its author knew he was adding to an ongoing narrative of God’s people.   Around 1876 B.C., Jacob and his family settled in Egypt. At that time, Jacob’s son, Joseph, was the prime minister of Egypt, being the second-in-command next to Pharaoh…

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    Abraham, a life of faith

    Title: Abraham, a life of faith Aim: To emphasize that faith is a lifelong journey with God. Scripture: Genesis 12:1–9   God summons Abraham, Genesis 12:1–3   Genesis is the book of beginnings. In this historical narrative, we find the beginnings of the material universe, human life, human sin, divine judgment on human sin, covenant promises, and the Israelite tribes—to name just a few.   Genesis provides a foundation for a great deal of what we can know about life and our Lord. Genesis is also the first of five books forming a group of their own at the beginning of the Old Testament.   Together, Genesis through Deuteronomy are…