Sermons

Summary: Keeping our commitments may be hard, but its the stuff character is made of. And God rewards faithfulness with a beautiful crown in glory.

1. I was working on an Associates Degree in Electronics Engineering

Technology/community college; now, in the beginning of my second year, I felt the call to ministry...what should I do? Completed my degree...

2. Many times married couples second guess their decision of a partner ...if I had only waited...or perhaps they are convinced they married outside of God’s will....no abuse/adultery, but just not content...

3. You give your word you’ll attend a family gathering...but you really

don’t want to...do you lie and call in sick...what do you do?

4. There are many occasions when we feel we have committed ourselves, but the commitment was a mistake. No, we will not sin in fulfilling the commitment, but we regret we made it. Sometimes we are mistaken; we did not err (e.g., marriage--we just might be discontent by nature); other times it is obviously a mistake (e.g., obligation to job we hate); other times our mistakes work for us (wrong turn & we avoid constr.)

Q: When we make commitments that we question in retrospect, how

important is it that we honor them?

A couple of chapters in Joshua 10 deal with this very thing.

I. The Setting (chapter 9 summarized)

1. Local kings heard about Jericho, Ai....united together except for

Gibeon....

2. The Gibeonites put on a ruse....

(1) wore old sandals

(2) old clothes

(3) dry, moldy bread

3. Israelites were allowed to sign treaties with far off nations, but not the Canaanites....

4. They did not consult God, but signed a treaty promising peace and

mutual support...

5. Three days later, they found out that the Gibeonites were only 19

miles away from their campsite! Note verse 18.

6. The Mistakes Israel made are similar in cause to many of ours...

(1) they judged by what they saw (1-13)....

(2) the Israelites assumed honesty before it was proven; their words

had the "ring of truth." They were gullible...God "con" men cannot be

discerned from the sincere; our pride causes us to think we can, which is exactly what they play upon...

(3) they failed to ask God (14-15); How often we rush into things!

7. The Gibeonites became laborers (semi-slaves); they had been serving Adoni-zedek perhaps as slaves anyhow, so no change for them!

8. Now this mistake did not hurt the Jews too much; the Gibeonites are never mentioned as leading them into idolatry, and they were eventually incorporated into the nation centuries later...

----BECAUSE WE SOMETIMES ESCAPE UNSCATHED FROM OUR MISTAKES DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD EMBOLDEN OURSELVES AND BECOME RECKLESS.

Now the Israelites would be put to the test: would they honor a

commitment they regretted making?

II. The Challenge (chapter 10)

1. Adoni-Zedek= The Lord is Righteous...

(1) King of (Jeru)Salem, like Melchizedek 500 years earlier...

(2) Melchizedek (King of Righteousness)

(3) Probably God-fearing priest-kings at first, now the order of

Melchizedek bore resemblance to its founder in name only...

2. The Gibeonites called Joshua for help (6)

(1) this put their integrity on the line; would they risk their lives for a treaty they were deceived into making?

(2) Yes. God encouraged them to honor it...(7-8)

(3) they march 20 uphill miles (about 20 hours) & fight

3. God works two miracles:

(1) hailstones--more deadly than the weapons of Israel

(2) extended Sunlight (language of appearance); in Genesis, sunlight was created before the sun!

Question: When we make commitments, how important is it that we

honor them? Very.

Main Idea: When you honor your commitments, God honors you.

There are times to break them (if they would force us to sin or put our children’ to risk, etc.), but not our of inconvenience.

III. Commitments Are for Keeping...

1. Make them rarely and very carefully...

(1) Eccl. 5:5

(2) Have you ever noted, I rarely have asked you to make one

(3)Walk thru the Bible...I did not fill out card...

2. Marriage, for example....

(1) Godly believers (or both lost)

(2) means of support

(3) willing to be counseled

(4) can be reasoned with...

3. Do not view commitments as a way to reform yourself...

(1) diets

(2) ministry (I’ll have to be spiritual then)

4. Once you make a commitment, do not break it easily...even if there is a price tag of inconvenience and regret....

Conclusion

1. Sometimes those commitments we kept turn out to be blessings.. .you really enjoyed that party...your marriage got over that hump...you grew in a new way, learned something....

2. Other times you still regret it...but your faithfulness will be rewarded...

3. Some of you have made commitments to HPC; you’ve stuck with us through the bad times, and can enjoy the blessings of the good

times...with the satisfaction of knowing that it was you and others like

you who helped us survive the storms...

4. Keeping our commitments may be hard, but its the stuff character is made of. And God rewards faithfulness with a beautiful crown in glory.

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