An Oklahoma State assistant told of the Old Testament tale during pregame chapel last week.
Cowboys and Sooners alike should take heed of the story of Moses and Joshua.
Everyone knows about Moses, he of the burning bush and the Ten Commandments, he of "Let my people go" fame.
He isn't as well-known. He was understudy to Moses, and even though Moses had been the chosen one expected to take the people to the promise land, Joshua was the one who ultimately led them there.
He had his doubters.
"If Moses couldn't do it," people asked, "why would we think you could?"
Now, you may be wondering what any of this spiritual storytelling has to do with football, particularly the two big programs in our fair state.
Allow Cowboy defensive end Richetti Jones to pick up the analogy.
"The people outside of our organization ... they thought that the team last year was supposed to take us to the championship," he said. "But we didn't make it."
No promised land for the chosen one.
"Everyone outside of our organization wasn't expecting us to be 5-0," Jones said.
Yet that's exactly where the Cowboys are, undefeated and rising in the rankings as they head into the heart of conference play. That's something last year's team couldn't say. That's something this year's team wasn't expected to be able to say.
Ditto for the Sooners.
Our fair state has two of the remaining 13 undefeated teams in college football. No other state can claim more than one. Regardless of your affiliation, crimson or orange, this is a magical start to your season.
This is the start that your team was supposed to have last year.
This is the season of our dreams — a year late.
You remember the preseason hype of a year ago. Both teams had serious star power — Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Jermaine Gresham and Trent Williams in Norman, Zac Robinson, Russell Okung and Dez Bryant in Stillwater — and both the Sooners and the Cowboys thought their team had talent that could carry it to a title.
By this time last year, all of that hype and hope had fallen apart.
At OU, Gresham suffered a season-ending knee injury before the season even kicked off, then Bradford was knocked out not once but twice by shoulder injuries.
At OSU, Bryant was suspended and on his way to a season-long exile while starters Kendall Hunter and Orie Lemon were already sidelined by injury.
Five games into their seasons a year ago, the Sooners and the Cowboys had a combined record of 7-3. There would only be more injuries, more losses, more disappointments.
Both teams rallied well considering the extent of their injuries and the magnitude of their issues, but it wasn't the season that either team expected.
Going to the Cotton Bowl?
Winning the Sun Bowl?
Those were not the preseason expectations for those teams. Those were not the expectations of those teams either. Everyone had visions of grandeur.
"Last year, we learned a lot about ourselves," Cowboy kicker Dan Bailey said. "We had great leadership last year. But we had a lot of adversity.
"That kind of helped us not really pay attention to any outside stuff and really realize the most important thing is that we play as a team and we have fun."
Is it too far fetched to say that last year's failures spurred this year's achievements?
Sure doesn't seem like it.
"We've just got a whole bunch of players back from last year that went through that, who were tired of losing the close games and were tired of all the mess being talked about how we go 8-5 and the world's over," Sooner linebacker Travis Lewis said.
"We got a lot of those guys back and a lot of that hunger back."
Who knows? Maybe OU and OSU had to endure last season so they could enjoy this season. Maybe these Sooners and Cowboys had to be the understudies to chosen teams that didn't quite reach the promise land.
Which brings us back to that Old Testament tale. That message during pregame chapel generated a nickname.
The Joshua Generation.
Who knows where this season may lead these Sooners and Cowboys. There are many games left to be played. There are many hurdles yet to be crossed.
But so far, they are doing what must be done; they are winning every time they step on the field. That keeps hope alive for an undefeated season and a championship chance.
The promise land awaits.