Summary: Four lousy excuses to not get involved in the fight and four New Testament reasons to consider the cause more important than the lousy excuses:
Title: “Facing the Giants”
Introduction: What to do when you are out numbered? The nation of Israel had just come into the promise land. There were battles to fight. God gives to the Joshua the instruction on how to lead your troops into battle.
Preach a rousing sermon.
First. Have a priest preach to the troops a rousing sermon on the promises and greatness of God with the theme, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”
2. Give people an opportunity to “go home.”
Four legitimate excuses to not be used of God in the battle:
1. Wealth. You have a new house to live in… “go home.”
(Deu 20:5 KJV) And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.
2. Work. You have a planted a vineyard you haven’t eaten from… “go home.”
(Deu 20:6 KJV) And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.
3. Women. You are engaged to be married…. “go home.”
(Deu 20:7 KJV) And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.
4. Worry. You are afraid of the enemy you are outnumbered by… “go home.”
(Deu 20:8 KJV) And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.
Important thought: The opportunity to “go home” is not a commandment. The thought is, you could go home, but the hopes of the commanding officer is that you will choose to stay to fight the battle.
Four New Testament challenges given by Christ to overcome the four lousy excuses:
1. Wealth? Instead of going home…. Sell your house!
(Mat 19:21 KJV) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
2. Work? Instead of going home to work, go to work for Jesus!
(Luke 5:11 KJV) And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
3. Women? Instead of letting people hinder you from Christ, adopt a new family!
(Mark 3:32 KJV) And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
(Mark 3:33 KJV) And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
(Mark 3:34 KJV) And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
(Mark 3:35 KJV) For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
4. Worry? Instead of worry about tomorrow, believe God for today!
(Mat 6:34 KJV) Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Four pictures to think about:
After the speech…
Envision the troops lined up. You have been given the rousing sermon by the priest. The officer has just offered the excuses for you to be able to go home. How do you think the other soldiers are going to feel about you if you choose to leave them alone to fight the battle?
In front of the house…
Envision that you are in your new home and you have just gotten your grapes from the vineyard; you and the wife have just finished tea time, and you are have the garden hose out sprinkling the front lawn. Envision widows of the war walking by on the sidewalk, pushing the carriage for their fatherless babies...
At the foot of the cross…
Envision Christ on the cross. He has asked you to “pick up your cross to follow him.”
Saved by grace, that is true, but your life has amounted to wood, hay and stubble.