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Vicar’s write 17/18 June

posted 18.06.2017

Possessing God’s promise from Generation to Generation

Shalom! As we enter Ordinary Time in 2017, we continue our discipline of reading, learning and preaching through one biblical book. The book we have chosen this year will be the book of Joshua. To recap, we covered Zechariah (2013); 1 Corinthians (2014); Ezra (2015) and Hebrews (2016).

The book of Joshua is the first book after the Pentateuch, the 5 books of God’s laws, written by Moses; God’s friend and the greatest prophet ever but incomparable to Jesus as we studied in the book of Hebrews. I pray the study and meditation on Joshua will guide us as we journey with God towards SJC50. I am learning new things and was excited when Joseph Chean, a long-time friend of St James’ shared a prophetic word about “you (St James’) have not passed this way before”. This is of course taken from Joshua 3:4 and Joseph had no idea we had already planned this sermon series as part of our SJC40 journey. This confirms God’s leading and alerts us all the more to listen!

While the 39 books are similar, the arrangement of the Hebrew Scripture is different from our Old Testament. There are 3 sections in the Tanakh which correspond to Torah (Law), Neviʾim (Prophets) and Ketuvim (Writings).

Hence the book of Joshua is not ordinary human history but divine history; the first book of the Prophets where God teaches Israel how to express covenant faithfulness. Believing that the entire Bible has one unifying theme, Joshua contains God’s relevant message to us that He is actively at work 3400 years later. As He called Abraham and established that eternal covenant, which we are inheritors through faith in Jesus Christ, we are asked to be faithful to His unchanging laws and to align our lives with it.

To prepare ourselves to receive all that God wants to bless us with, may I encourage you to do some advance reading in preparation, personal study and listening to God’s Holy Spirit. Can I urge us to read through the book of Joshua and be familiar even as we preach through Joshua from July to September 2017.

Please pray for those preaching too that we will receive God’s anointing to discern faith deposits He wants to bring to you and St James’ as we pass on His unchanging promise of salvation from one generation to another!

Ps Siang Guan