Week 5: Disappointment

Review this week's message.

Key Scripture
34 Moses climbed up from the plains of Moab to the top of Mount Nebo, to the peak at Mount Pisgah on the east side of the Jordan River across from Jericho. The Eternal showed him the whole land that would be Israel’s territory: Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all of Judah’s territory to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, 3 the southern desert, and the basin in the valley of Jericho, the “city of palms,” as far as Zoar.
Eternal One (to Moses): 4 This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I told them, “I’ll give it to your descendants.” I’ve let you see it, even though you won’t be going into it.
5 So Moses, the Eternal’s servant, died there in the land of Moab, just as the Eternal had said. 6 He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died, but his eyesight hadn’t failed and his strength hadn’t diminished. 8 The children of Israel stayed in the plains of Moab and mourned for Moses for 30 days, until the grieving period was over.
9 Now Joshua (Nun’s son) was filled with a spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on this successor. The children of Israel obeyed Joshua, and they did what the Eternal had commanded Moses. 10 Since then there’s never been another prophet in Israel like Moses. The Eternal knew him face-to-face! 11 No one has ever done anything like the amazing things the Eternal sent Moses to do in the land of Egypt to demonstrate His reality and power to Pharaoh and his servants and his whole country. 12 And no one has shown such great power or done such terrifying things as everyone in Israel saw Moses do.
Deuteronomy 34:1-12 (The Voice)

Start talking.  Find a conversation starter for your group.
  • When was a time you were really disappointed?
  • Disappointment is a very strong emotion.  Did you ever have a parent/teacher/etc. tell you that they "weren't mad, they were just disappointed"?  
  • Have you ever had to disappoint someone? What did that feel like?

Start thinking. Ask a question to get your group thinking.
  • Do you think Moses deserved to go into the promised land?
  • Do you think he felt robbed? angry?
  • Have you ever been that close to something without actually achieving/grasping it?

Start sharing. Choose a question to create openness.
  • So much of the Old Testament is about the people of God preparing the way for their children & children's children.  Many of our religious forefathers (and mothers) never saw the fruit of their labor, but trusted that God had a plan.  What do you take away from this?
  • How often do you think about the generations that will come after you?  What are you doing now to prepare the way?
  • The American Dream is the idea that if you work hard toward something you can achieve greatness; what does it look like to work hard towards the greatness of your descendants? Can we celebrate the successes of others when we have worked so hard to make them possible, while rarely benefiting from that work ourselves?
  • Was God allowing Moses to see what he had worked so hard for a gift or an act of cruelty/punishment?

Start praying.  Be bold and pray with power. 
Gracious God, it's hard to imagine working our entire lives towards something that we don't get to enjoy.  Perhaps you are reminding us that our joy should come from the joy we bring to others.  May we be like Moses & have patience as we trust your process.  May we care so greatly for those that will come after us, that we live each day with them in mind.  Amen.

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.
  • It is estimated that 8-11 generations have passed since 1776 when the United States was "born."  If we go just 3 generations back (based on a 25 year generation model) we're looking at the end of World War II, no moon landing yet, no civil rights movement yet, no internet or cell phones, etc.  It seems like forever ago, but in the grand scheme of things it's not that long.  Spend some time thinking 3 generations forward...what kind of world do you imagine?  Come up with 1 or 2 practical ways to plan for your those that come after us!