Summary: We live in a time when people think they can beat the system of God’s way of doing things. Sin enters their life and then they can’t understand why things start going wrong.
Scripture: Joshua 7:1 –
Title: “Above The Law”
Introduction: Joshua and the people of God were experiencing victory. They had come out of the wilderness, crossed the flooded Jordan River on dry ground. They had seen the walls of Jericho fall down after they had walked around them for seven days. WOW! These people are walking in the land of victory. You know it’s wonderful to see what God can do with His people when they are surrendered to Him.
But all of a sudden in the midst of victory comes a smashing defeat.
God’s people lose 36 of their finest young fighting men and on top of this they lose ground they had already gained as they were driven back. WHAT’S GONE WRONG?
God’s people are a people of VICTORY. When defeat comes there has to be a reason for it. Sin is the reason for defeat.
WHAT CAUSED THIS TERRIBLE LOSS IN ISRAEL’S CAMP?
Sin is the very culprit in this HORRIBLE story of DEFEAT and DEATH!
The Bible Defines Sin as:
‘Foolish Thoughts’ “The thought of foolishness is sin” (Proverbs 24:9)
‘Neglect of Opportunity’ “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17)
‘Breaking God’s Law’ “For sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4)
‘Vain Talk’ “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin” (Proverbs 10:19)
‘Contempt For Others’ “He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth” (Proverbs 14:21)
‘Unbelief’ “Whatsoever is not of FAITH is sin” (Romans 14:23)
“All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:7)
Mahatma Gandhi said there are seven sins in the world:
1. Wealth without work.
2. Pleasure without conscience.
3. Commerce without morality.
4. Science without humanity.
5. Worship without sacrifice.
6. Politics without principle.
7. Knowledge without character.
I. ABOVE THE LAW
a. We live in a time when too many people are trying to “Beat the System.” This has been carried over into the church.
b. Radar Detectors attached to the windshield of many cars attest to the FACT that we want to drive above the LAW.
c. There are people who tend to think because lightening doesn’t strike them when they sin that they have gotten away with it. This gives them the idea that they are evincible or “above the law.”
d. Pushing the limits has become the order of the day. Both in church and in the world.
e. How much can I do and still be saved?
f. This attitude has caused people to say, “I don’t feel bad about doing this the way I used to.”
g. Hearts have become hardened and callused to sin. “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Eph. 4:19)
h. There is a price to be paid for sin! (Achan paid and awful price!)
II. DEFEATED BY SMALL ENEMIES.
a. When the men returned from spying out Ai they said there was no use of sending all the people to Ai to fight because there wasn’t that many of them.
b. Just send about two or three thousand to the battle there’s no need of making all the people labor in the battle. (v.30)
c. This was Israel’s ONLY military defeat in Joshua’s day.
d. Are we enjoying the victories that we use to enjoy?
Are we seeing people saved and delivered from sin the way we used to?
Are we seeing our Church grow the way it needs to grow?
Are our families solid and secure?
Are our young people growing?
Are we as in love with God as we used to be?
Do we feel the Holy Spirit’s presence like we used to?
e. Israel was defeated by a SMALL enemy because there was SIN in the CAMP.
f. Little things are defeating churches today because there are things COVERED up within the BODY of Christ.
g. The Loss of Victory:
Ai defeated the great army of Israel and killed 36 of Israel’s finest.
When stores lose too many times they go out of business.
When ball teams lose too often coaches get replaced.
When companies lose too many times, jobs are lost.
When CHURCHES lose too often people go to hell.
When the world loses it starts looking for the cause of the problem and they find it and they fix it.
When the church loses we too have to find the problem and deal with it.
We, the Church, have lost prayer out of the schools, we’ve lost the Bible out of our schools, we’ve lost the high moral standards of our past that made us the great nation we are, and the list is too long to continue.