Summary: The 4th sermon in a series on Joshua focuses on the importance of following God instead of expecting Him to follow us.
1. Our presidents have always fascinated me. When you study their lives you find them to be a widely varied and interesting group. Most of us have been a bit fascinated of late to witness the way President Bush #1 & President Clinton have become friends.
2. But they are certainly anything but the first colorful presidents. I had to laugh when I read a story about Lyndon Johnson a number of years ago. LBJ was hard on his speech writers. Some of them went so far as to say he was down right impossible. In fact, he developed this habit while he was still a senator. One writer took all he could, then found another job & gave his notice. His final speech was put in the senator’s hands plenty early for him to review, but the writer knew from past experience that he probably wouldn’t and he was right. LBJ never looked at it until he got up to deliver his remarks. The speech was prepared just the way Johnson liked it, triple spaced with only a few lines of text per page. The speech read like this: "YOU KNOW AS I DO THAT THIS COUNTRY MUST TAKE CARE OF THE (triple space) NEEDS OF OUR UNDERPRIVILEGED (triple space) (turn page) YOU KNOW AS I DO THAT INCOME TAXES MUST NOT BE RAISED (triple space) BECAUSE NOW MORE THAN EVER WE MUST PROVIDE INCENTIVE (triple space) FOR INVESTMENT AND JOBS FOR OUR PEOPLE (triple space) (turn page) BUT HOW, YOU ASK, ARE WE TO PROVIDE THE FUNDS WE NEED (triple space) MAINTAIN A BALANCED BUDGET AND STILL NOT RAISE TAXES? (triple space) LET ME TELL YOU HOW, RIGHT NOW (triple space) (turn page)
OKAY SMART GUY YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN!!!
3. Have you ever thought you had things all together, only to discover later that didn’t have them worked out at all? Actually, you don’t have to answer that question, because all of here this morning know the answer.
4. If the men & women who move the nation, like LBJ have moments when they don’t have things all together, then how much regular people like you and me?
5. Even when we want to accomplish great things for God, we often find ourselves falling far short of our own plans. We want to be what we should for God, but somehow, we find ourselves not doing all that we want.
6. Then there are those other times when we don’t even know what God wants. We may know as far as the big picture goes, but we find ourselves struggling with the details of how we’re supposed to go about actually doing what He wants.
7. Let me assure you, you aren’t the first one who has faced that struggle. In our study of Joshua’s life this morning, I want to look at a part of the story that I believe you will find fascinating because here we will discover that while Joshua is focused on finding God’s will for the people, He’s going to find something even more significant. You might be asking about now, what could be more important than finding God’s will. Well, ponder that as we read our text together this morning. Would you follow along with me as I read this lengthy passage.
Joshua 5:13 - 6:27 (NASB)
13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"
14 He said, "No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"
15 The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.
1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.
2 The LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.
3 "You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.
4 "Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
5 "It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead."