Summary: People of high character keep their commitments.
Commitment of Character
Text: Joshua 10:1-15
1. Illustration: A college man walked into a photography studio with a framed picture of his girlfriend. He wanted the picture duplicated. This involved removing it from the frame. In doing this, the studio owner noticed the inscription on the back of the photograph:
“My dearest Tom, I love you with all my heart. I love you more and more each day. I will love you forever and ever. I am yours for all eternity.”
It was signed "Helen,” and it contained a P.S.: “If we ever break up, I want this picture back.”
2. The true test of any commitment comes when that commitment is challenged, and this is where are character is also tested.
3. Are we going to stand by our word even though it is difficult?
4. The truth of the matter is:
a. Our commitment will be challenged.
b. Our commitment will be commanded.
c. Our commitment will be championed.
5. Read Joshua 10:1-15
Proposition: People of high character keep their commitments.
Transition: Without question...
I. Our Commitment Will Be Challenged (1-5)
A. Come Help Me
1. We should never underestimate our enemy, and if we think that just because we made a commitment to the Lord that the Devil is just going to leave us alone, we are sadly mistaken.
2. This was the case with Joshua and the children of Israel.
a. They had been very successful in their conquest of the land so far.
b. Even though they allowed themselves to be fooled by the Gibeonites, they were still in good shape.
3. However, "Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had captured and completely destroyed Ai and killed its king, just as he had destroyed the town of Jericho and killed its king. He also learned that the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel and were now their allies."
a. The king of Jerusalem was a major player in the region at this time.
b. This is the first time that the name Jerusalem is mentioned in the bible.
c. Jerusalem is one of the key cities in the region and is competing with Shechem for control of the hill country. (The IVP Bible background commentary : Old Testament (electronic ed.) . InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL)
d. He knew that Joshua and his people were a major threat to his existence.
4. His concern turned to fear when he heard about the treaty with Gibeon "because Gibeon was a large town—as large as the royal cities and larger than Ai. And the Gibeonite men were strong warriors."
a. Not only was Israel’s God helping it, but now one of the Canaanites’ very own would be Israel’s ally.—(New American Commentary)
b. Gibeon was known as a strong and powerful city, and if they had joined Israel’s side, then they were in big trouble.
5. Therefore, he convinces some of the other kings to join him to punish Gibeon for making a treaty with Israel.
a. The list is an impressive one.
b. It includes some of the most powerful kings in the region.
c. They weren’t going to take this lying down, and they wanted to teach Gibeon a lesson.
B. If It Were Easy It Wouldn’t Be Called Commitment
1. Illustration: “Joy in Christ requires a commitment to working at the Christian lifestyle. Salvation comes as a gif, but the joy of salvation demands disciplined action. Most Christians I know have just enough of the Gospel to make them miserable, but not enough to make them joyful. They know enough about the biblical message to keep them form doing the things which the world tempts them to do; but they do not have enough of a commitment to God to do those things through which they might experience the fullness of his joy.” (Tony Campolo. Seven Deadly Sins. p. 21)
2. The truth of the matter is that if it were easy all of the time it would be called a "piece of cake" and not a commitment.
3. Jesus promised us that it wouldn’t be easy, but the minute it gets hard we want to give up and quit.
4. The problem is that we want it to be easy, and if it’s not we either complain about or move on down the road.
a. Fast food Christianity
b. We want it how we want it, and when we want it, or we don’t want it.
5. When our commitment is challenged we can:
a. Give up or get tough
b. Stand aside or stand strong
c. We can be a quitter or be a committer.
Transition: Which one are you?
II. Our Commitment Will Be Commanded (6-8)
A. Come At Once
1. It didn’t take long for the Gibeonites to see that they were in big trouble.