Summary: Israel failed to follow God fully. The message God sends to Israel is an admonition and a warning to believers today.
FAILING TO FOLLOW FULLY
INTRODUCTION: God had led Israel through the wilderness and to the land of promise. He instructed them to take possession of the land and serve Him in the land. Israel however was very inconsistent in their walk with God often being disobedient, rebellious, and idolatrous. Because they were disobedient the Lord addresses the Israelites with a message concerning their failure to follow the Lord fully. The truths of this message are as true to the believer today as they were to Israel in Joshua’s day.
I. God’s Faithfulness – Verse 1
A. "And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I swore unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you."
B. Three Great Truths of the Covenant Relationship of Israel
· Deuteronomy 26:8-9 "And the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders: and he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that flows with milk and honey."
· Leviticus 25:38 "I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God."
· Deuteronomy 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;"
C. Three Great Truths of the Covenant Relationship of the Believer
a. Proverbs 5:22 speaks of our enslavement to sin when it states that the unbeliever is "… Holden (caught up) with the cords of his sins."
b. 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 "But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead: who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;"
a. John 10:10 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
b. Psalms 36:7-9 "How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light."
a. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 "But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil."
b. “When God calls a man, he does not repent of it. God does not, as many friends do, love one day, and hate another; or as princes, who make their subjects favorites, and afterwards throw them into prison. This is the blessedness of a saint; his condition admits of no alternation. God’s call is founded upon his decree, and his decree is immutable. Acts of grace cannot be reversed. God blots out his people’s sins, but not their names.” – Thomas Watson (C. 1557-1592)
c. 2 Timothy 2:13 "If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself."
d. God’s decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saints’ perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder. Thomas Watson (C. 1557-1592)
4. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “Never forget the three whats. What from? Believers are redeemed from hell and destruction. What by? By the precious blood of Christ. What to? To an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that will not fade away.” – The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)
II. God’s Command – Verse 2a "And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars:"
A. Conquest and Separation
1. Numbers 33:51-52 "Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:"
2. Israel was to be victorious over the influence and power of the heathen nations. The Israelites were to drive out all the enemies who opposed God and His people. They were to live lives in the Promised Land that were set apart to serve God.