A lot of good true stories are repeated. Ancient stories along with stories we hear today can be passed down to the next generation for teaching points, encouragement, and to be a reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness. This is exactly what took place just before Joshua made a covenant with the Israelites and sent them away, each to his own piece of Promised Land.
Joshua retold God’s Story starting with Abraham’s father. He highlighted key elements of their unique history and reemphasized God’s faithfulness, power and compassion. Joshua mentioned Balaam who had been sent to curse the Israelites. Quoting God, Joshua says, “…but I would not listen to him. Instead, I made Balaam bless you, and so I rescued you from Balak.” God reminded the Israelites, through Joshua, that it was He who had provided victory after victory and in gratitude, the people responded saying they would serve and obey the Lord. Later the prophet Micah also encouraged the people of his lifetime by retelling the account of the Lord’s blessings through Balaam and Balak.
One reason why I am writing this book is to remember God’s blessings. By working through God’s Story of blessings and retelling stories of how He blessed our family time after time, I am blessed all over again.
On our first Easter among an unreached people of China, the town’s eight foreigners rode through the quiet pre-dawn with the desire to pray and worship the Redeemer on a mountaintop as the sun rose. Isaiah, five years old, excitedly raced past Sophie and slipping on a stone bridge, he gashed his head open when he fell backwards. Russ applied pressure to Isaiah’s wound and used my jacket to absorb the bleeding, and we went on with worshipping our Lord. In time, and with the help of our neighbor, a nurse, Isaiah’s head grew back together. He did not suffer any ongoing damage; his scar became a physical reminder to me of God’s goodness. How good it is for us to reflect on God’s faithful blessings and refresh our vow to honor Him.