Summary: Part 4 of 4-part series called "Josh's Journey" which looked at 4 different scenes from Joshua's life. The bottom line for this message is: "Don't give up, get up!"
This is the final week in a 4-week series on the Old Testament character, Joshua, called “Josh Journey”.
• He was one of the 12 spies that checked out Canaan.
• He was the one that led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
• The Jordan River parted for him
• He led the Israelites into victory over Jericho
• They lost to a much inferior city, Ai, then rebounded to beat them
• The sun stood still during one of their battles
Josh had quite the journey! Three weeks ago we talked about how all 12 spies were in the same place, saw the same people, experienced the same sights, sounds and smells but 10 of them had a much different report from Caleb and Joshua. We learned that:
WHEN YOU SEE WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO SEE, YOU CAN DO WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO
Two weeks ago we looked at the first chapter of Joshua, when they were on the verge of crossing the Jordan. When God spoke to Joshua. It was critical that Joshua not only HEAR what God said, but BELIEVE. And for us to:
BELIEVING WHAT GOD SPEAKS, GIVES STRENGTH AND
COURAGE TO THE WEAK!
It’s NOT ENOUGH to HEAR what God speaks. We must BELIEVE! We looked at many of the different things that God has said about US as followers of Christ and I challenged us to BELIEVE what God has said, instead of what others or ourselves have said.
Last week we looked at the most famous snapshot of Joshua’s life, Jericho. We learned the secret to their victory at Jericho was not the silence and was not the shout but was obedience, and that:
OBEDIENCE IS TRUST TESTED
Today in part #4 we are going to look at a story in Josh’s life that I can relate to and I’ll bet many of you can too. Before I get to that story…
In honor of March madness, what is the greatest upset you can remember?
• #11 VCU over #1 Kansas in 2011 to reach the Final Four.
• #15 Richmond over #2 Syracuse in 1991
• #6 N.C. State over #1 Houston - Phi Slamma Jamma in 1983 to win the title?
• #8 Villanova over #1 Georgetown in 1981 to win the title?
• Or Texas Western, the first team to have a starting lineup of 5 African American players, defeating national powerhouse Kentucky for the championship in 1966?
No doubt, overconfidence played a role in many of those upsets. Have you ever trusted in your own strength? Ever underestimate an opponent or situation? The favorite thought they would win just by showing up. We will see some of that in our story today. Let’s take a look.
I want you to notice that Joshua’s first response is to blame God.
“Why did YOU bring us across the Jordan, if you are going to let us get killed?” You have never done that right? Joshua goes to a whining, blaming prayer. With one defeat, he is ready to quit, ready to give-up. Notice what God says to him in verse 10 and 13. “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this?” “Get up! Purify yourself” He’s basically telling him to stop praying and start doing. There’s a time for that! This is what God was telling Joshua:
“DON’T GIVE UP, GET UP”
Instead of giving up, get up and figure out, with God’s help, why you experienced the defeat. There just might be a reason you experienced that defeat. There might be a lesson to be learned in the midst of that defeat. For Joshua, he soon learned the reason. Someone had directly disobeyed an order from the Lord.
“Never underestimate the
amount of damage one person
can do outside the will of God”
• Abraham’s disobedience almost cost him his wife
• David’s disobedience in taking an unauthorized census led to the death of several
• Jonah’s refusal to obey God almost sank a ship.
Achan disobeyed God just to possess some wealth that he couldn’t even enjoy. Where was he going to spend it? Who was he going to show it to? Had he waited just a day or two, he could have gathered all the spoils he wanted from the victory at Ai! But he must have felt like God was unjust or God wasn’t going to provide for them. I mean what had God done to prove himself to Achan?
Achan isn’t the only one at fault here. Joshua did NOT inquire of the Lord!
• Coming off such a great victory at Jericho
• He sent spies into Ai and their report was simple
• Let’s save some energy and only send a few thousand men
• This is an easy victory