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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be
Joshua 7
Reproducing Faith, Part 5

1.    See Gods anger 
Joshua 7:1 (ESV) But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.

2.    See who sin hurts

Joshua 7:2-3 (ESV) Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.”

Joshua 7:4–5 (ESV) So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.

Joshua 7:6–9 (ESV) Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”

3.    See how sin is exposed

Joshua 7:10–12 (ESV) 10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. 12 Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.

Joshua 7:13–15 (ESV) 13 Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the Lord, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” 14 In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the Lord takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the Lord takes shall come near by households. And the household that the Lord takes shall come near man by man. 15 And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.’ ”

4.    See how sin progresses

Joshua 7:16–19 (ESV) 16 So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel near tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17 And he brought near the clans of Judah, and the clan of the Zerahites was taken. And he brought near the clan of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18 And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

Joshua 7:22–23 (ESV) 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath. 23 And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel. And they laid them down before the Lord.

5.    See the solution the story points toward

Joshua 7:24–26 (ESV) 24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Sarah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.

Romans 3:23–25 (ESV) 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

Questions for Discussion
How would you describe the fear of God? How is it possible to develop a healthy fear of God?
Should we think of God getting angry at sin now? Why or why not?
Can pride and the fear of God reside together in the same person at the same time?
How can an individual’s sin still have consequences for an entire group of people?
Joshua and others give evidence that they had begun to place their confidence in their previous success rather than on God. What evidence do you see that we consistently gravitate toward trusting something or someone other than God?
What evidence do you see that it is God’s job to expose sin and not ours?
What is involved in fighting sin in our own lives? See Romans 8:13 & Colossians 3:5

Compare Joshua 7:20-21 to James 1:13-15. How would you describe how sin happens?

1 comment:

  1. For many years I struggled greatly within myself because of my sin, even doubting that Christ's atoning sacrifice had saved me, thinking if I was saved how could I continue to sin. I thought that after I gave my heart to Jesus that I would no longer have a desire to sin. The harder I tried to get rid of my sin the more lost I felt because I would always mess up. But God was working in me even when I sinned and doubted. He has brought me to the place where I trust Him even though in my flesh I am not perfect.
    In one of the many times He has helped me see, He brought me to a hitting coach that said to his student that he could spend all of their time together telling her what was wrong with her swing but that would not help her to hit the ball. Instead he said he would instruct her how to swing properly. From that God impressed me to take my eyes off my messed up self and look at Him.
    Through God's faithful and steadfast mercy working in me, He has caused me to desire Him more than what pleases my flesh. As I look to Him, hiding His word in my heart, searching for Him, an amazing thing is beginning to happen in me, He is changing my heart. God is doing the work, not me. I could not save myself or change my behavior. I could only put myself in a position for Him to do a work in me and even that is a gift from Him. What I could not do He can. I am still far from perfect, I don't always hit the ball, but I see change in myself, in my desire.
    "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare" Psalm 25:1-2a & 15.
    My heart rejoices in this great God who loves us. May His mercy lead us to repentance and to Him. Believe and you will see.