Monday, June 30, 2014

Keeping the Journey Alive with Terry Briley

Hazelip Series #2 with Terry Briley - Keeping the Journey Alive  - Joshua 3-4
"The Need to Engage the Next Generation"

The following was written by Ashley as she organized her notes from the Lipscomb Summer Celebration class
here for you. 

The Israelites prepare to cross the Jordan and set foot in the Promised Land for the first time as a nation.  The ark is to lead the way, from a distance of about 3000 feet in front of the people. We often assume that the great distance is because of the holiness of God, but for this instance another reason is given: that they might know the way to go since they have not been this way before. God is leading the way, showing them the path. It brings to mind the question: do we let God take the lead today, or do we make plans and then ask God to bless them?

When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, God instructed them to set up memorial stones. The stones were erected so that future generations of Israelites and "all peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God." (Joshua 4:24) Briley used this part of the story as a springboard to talk about what he called "active memory" versus "passive memory". How many of the things we remember truly shape us? The Israelites who took the Promised Land were faithful for a generation, but after that another generation grew up who "knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel." (Judges 2:7) We know the Israelites had knowledge of the  events that took place because the stories survived and Gideon references the exodus from Egypt in Judges 6. When the text says that they did not know the Lord, it means they didn't know Him or the events in any meaningful way. They simply had the historical knowledge instead of active memories that would shape their behaviors and attitudes. 

It has been said that God has no grandchildren. Although we originally come to know God through others (such as our parents), we can only know God directly to be His children. We must not let the powerful realities of God become passive in the next generations. We must re-engage a generation and actively pass down the teachings and memories of God, as the Israelites were to do.

Do you want to know more about Terry Briley, one of our favorite Bible teachers during our time in college?  Click here to go to the Lipscomb Faculty Page.

Ashley and I are taking notes and sharing them here for the primary purpose of benefiting our church family at Washington Church of Christ, yet we won't limit God to just using these insights there.  May they be a blessing to all who read them.  Feel free to ask us questions about anything in our Lipscomb Summer Celebration notes.  

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