As I was reading chapter 7 of The Story this week, I was reminded of a scene in one of my favorite movies, “Braveheart” . . . You know . . . the one where William Wallace is on his horse riding along the front line of a rag tag band of warriors from across the whole of Scotland. Bolstered by the success of a few shrewdly planned and boldly executed attacks on English forts and towns, these men come to this battle ground with some glimmer of hope. That is until they peer across the field and come face to face with the well trained, well equipped, and battle hardened English fighting force. Understandably they went from hopeful to doubtful . . . many were ready to give up and go home. That is until Wallace made this impassioned plea.
William Wallace: Sons of Scotland I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men . . . and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?
Veteran: Fight? Against that? (The English Army) No! We will run. And we will live.
William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live . . . at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take . . . OUR FREEDOM!
The men stayed as a result of this call to courage. They followed their leader, William Wallace into the fight and won the battle. Freedom was theirs. All they had to do was reach for something greater than themselves and take hold of that gift: Freedom.
After years of slavery, of wandering, of doubt, disobedience and disappointment, the people of God were on the verge of receiving the land that God had promised. God told Joshua, His appointed leader of the people, that he would give him “every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” He went on to say
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
William Wallace called the Sons of Scotland to the hope of Freedom. In some sense they already had it as they were choosing their own battles, if you will, but there was no guarantee that freedom would be achieved for all of Scotland in the long run. It would take many more battles and many years to determine that outcome.
For Joshua and God’s people the outcome was sure. God’s promise was guaranteed and God delivered on that promise. The land was given to them. Oh, to fight a battle where the outcome is sure.
Posted on Thu, October 20, 2011