Steven Furtick — Closing The Loop
Joshua 24. I'm gonna read you 15 verses, just a heads up. Look at this, the Bible says that "Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the river and I led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac'".
It didn't look like it was ever gonna happen, but I gave him Isaac in the fullness of time, when the time was just right for the genealogy to continue through Abraham, I gave him Isaac. He had to laid him upon the altar but, I gave him Isaac. I don't take away what I give up a giver I'm a good Guf, so I gave him Isaac, "And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out. Then I brought your father's out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. And when they cried to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time. Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand...".
They fought with you and I gave them into your hand. The blessing didn't come without a battle, but when it was all said and done, you were still standing.
"They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam, the son of Beor to curse you, but I wouldn't listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of this hand. And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites". And since it's Thanksgiving weekend, the cellulites. We got to fight all of them, y'all?
"And I gave them into your hand. And I sent the hornet before you". I always knew God was a Charlotte fan, "I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant'. Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your father served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".
Do me a favor, on every location which would you take your right hand, and just do like this a couple times, just do it like this, a few times. And while you keep doing that, turn to your neighbor and ask them, ask them with an incredulous tone in your voice, ask them what are you doing? Now tell them: I'm closing the loop. That's what I want to talk to you today for a little while about. If I can, I want to talk to you about closing the loop. And you may be seated.
We've gathered with Joshua, and the leaders, and the people of Israel at Shechem. Joshua wants to close the loop, before he is no longer with the people, to help them understand the magnitude, and the meaning of some of what they've seen, and experienced under his leadership.