Summary: This is a look at the people of Isreal on the verge of the promise land and calls us to face up to the giants which are all around us with faith in God.
Facing up to our giants Ex 34:10-14 – Num 13: 1-3, 16 -14:9. –Jos: 1-11
Background: God’s promises are being fulfilled after 400 years in bondage Israel has been delivered out of Egypt, God protected them through the parted waters, God had provided with manna and water , leading them through the red sea into the desert of Sinai. And at the foot of the mountain God had given them his law and was now going to guide them to the brink of the promised land. His covenant promises coming to fruition, all the people needed to do is to step out in faith and do battle with the enemy, trusting in the promises of God, that Canaan would be theirs. Num:13:2 Deut 7:1-6 .
Gods promises are also being fulfilled : Christians have been brought out of the bondage and slavery of sin. We too have been lead and guided through God’s word. Now on the brink of the promise land we too need do battle and face up to those giants that might prevent us from gaining victory ( Not a type of heaven but a spiritual battle) God wants us to face up to the giants in our life and do battle with them.
• Facing up to the giants in our lives: Like a child being bullied in the school will eventually need to face up to his accuser and deal with the situation. So will we in the spiritual arena need to do battle with all types of giants that bully us and prevent us from being the people God wants us to be: Unbelief – materialism - impurity- greed – pride - lust - anger – self pity – doubts - pain- difficult relationships - suffering – death – sin .
Christians will need to face up to these types of giants, if they are to enter into the promise land.
We can all become spiritual giants if we are willing to believe and trust in God. We are going to consider two giants we need to deal with and one giant called faith which will enable us all to be what God wants us to be.
God has so much in store : We need to exercise faith, He expects us to be in a spiritual battle , that’s what entering the promise land is all about a spiritual battle. Joshua and Caleb did battle in the promise land yet their generation remained in the wilderness because they never conquered their giants. Israel needed to face up to giants which were holding them back, we need to do likewise.
Our positive role models in facing those giants of course are Caleb and Joshua.The missionary William Carey once said, “Expect great things and attempt great things for God.” That certainly was the case for Caleb abd Joshua. God wants us to be spiritually strong, God wants us to be spiritually courageous, God wants us to be spiritually diligent, God wants us to be spiritually prosperous and successful in the Lord, but this doesn’t come without doing battle and facing up to giants.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote this about our spiritual battle: A man who does not understand the nature of the problem he is confronting is a man who is already doomed to failure. Christian people are like first-year college students—they think at first that every subject is quite simple, there is no difficulty. Well, we know what is likely to happen to such when they face an examination! The first thing you have to do is to understand the nature and character of your problem. So we have to realize that we are called, in the Christian life, to a battle, not to a life of ease; to a battle, to warfare, to a wrestle, to a struggle.
1. Facing up to sin. Deut 7:1-6.
I believe the first thing God has called his people to face up to is sin in the world. Notice God called out Israel as a holy people v6 to live holy lives in an un-holy world to be a nation that faces up to their own sin (sacrificial system) and sin in the world, bringing divine judgement upon it. This is a challenge for us all, rather than conforming to the world they were to be transforming influence in the world. (Rom 12:1-3) When Gods people do that it will reveal the unholy nature of those around us – As Jesus said we are to be salt in the world, but if it loses its distinctiveness, what good is it?
(A) Gods divine instrument: God promised Israel their own land, this promise went right back to Abraham, but to fulfil this promise God is going to have to drive out several people groups in the land of Canaan but it would be the people who would be the divine instrument of doing just that and so here we have some very strong words from the Lord about dealing with these people.Deut 7:2-5. Destroy them totally, make no treaty, show them no mercy, v3 do not intermarry with them v5 break down their alters, smash their sacred stones, burn their idols.