So, the message in the formation of Israel is this: don't let the enemy write your story. In concrete terms, that means don't lose hope in the midst of a messy divorce. Don't give up your faith because of financial stress or chronic illness. Don't abandon God or think that God has abandoned you because your life is busy or your family is crazy. Don't be tempted to go after other gods because you don't see how this One has done anything for you lately. Instead, do what the ancient Hebrews did. Like Joshua, keep telling your story, over and over, until you can find God in it. Because, by locating God in your past, you will be convinced that God is also living in your present.
The truth is that we need new leaders and a new paradigm of leadership. Joshua was the new leader for his time, and in our time, his question comes back to challenge us. Before we go scouting out this Post-Christian world we live in, before we make plans to enter this strange, new Promised Land, we have to consider whether we are going to serve the God of Abraham, Moses, Joshua and Jesus—with all the hardship and self-sacrifice that implies—or are we going to serve the false gods around here, where money and power are in control and where the former owner of sex.com gets elected to public office! Only in Silicon Valley!