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Summary: Sin that is not taken seriously is lethal.

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IT IS THAT IMPORTANT

Joshua 7.1-8.35

S: Sin, Judgment and Grace

C: Purpose of the Community

Th: A People with Purpose

Pr: SIN THAT IS NOT TAKEN SERIOUSLY IS LETHAL.

TS: We will find in our study of Joshua 7-8 what happens when sin is not taken seriously.

Type: Narrative

I. DEFEAT (7.1-9)

II. SIN (7.10-15)

III. JUDGMENT (7.16-26)

IV. VICTORY (8.1-29)

V. RENEWAL (8.30-35)

PA: How is the change to be observed?

• Confess sin

• Repent of sin

• Be right with God

Version: ESV

RMBC 06 August 06 AM

INTRODUCTION:

ILL Cause

(According to a true anecdote found in the Reader’s Digest…)

At the end of a visit with their daughter who lived across the country, a father insisted on leaving some of his pain medication for her migraines.

A month later he was talking with her on the phone and asked, "Do those pills work?"

"I don’t know;" she replied. "I haven’t had a headache since you left!”

Well, one would wonder what the cause was of those headaches, wouldn’t they?

Could it have been the father?

So, let me ask you…

1. Do you believe in cause and effect?

ILL Cause: Personal – tennis

One of the sports I played in high school was doubles tennis. During my final regular season match, my partner and I fell behind during our first set, and lost 2-6. This was the second time we had faced this pair of players and we had beaten them quite soundly the first time.

Now we had dug ourselves in a whole, and the coach was really upset. After the first set was over, he did not yell. He was not that type. He just said, simply, that he couldn’t understand why we were allowing ourselves to lose to an inferior opponent.

I knew why. It was a simple loss of concentration. I, in particular, had lost focus. The Senior Banquet was going on inside the school and I was anxious to attend the proceedings with my friends.

My partner and I, though, had been dedicated to success and had only lost one other match all year. So we bore down, set aside the distractions, and won the second set 6-4, and then cruised to a 6-1 final set. We celebrated because we ended the season on a winning note.

As I consider that tennis match, I see that there was cause and effect. We had lost concentration and focus, and the effect was losing. When my partner and I put our minds back into the game, the effect was more satisfactory.

There is such a thing as cause and effect.

In our text last week, Joshua 6, we discovered that the cause of Israel’s great victory was God.

And the effect was stunning.

The walls of Jericho came down.

They came down because the Israelites had followed the instructions given them by their commander Joshua.

He told them to do what God had commanded them to do, which was a very unusual strategic plan that seemed rather bizarre.

They were to march around the city once and blow trumpets for six days.

Then on the seventh day, they marched seven times, and then gave a mighty shout along with the sounding of the trumpets.

And the effect was, as mentioned before, stunning.

The walls came down, not because that marching softened the ground and weakened the walls.

It happened because God made it so.

It happened because God’s people trusted and obeyed.

But, as we are about to learn…

2. Victories can be short-lived when God’s directives are not followed.

As we come to a very large text of study today, we are going to find out that trust and obedience was not as comprehensively followed as it should have been.

In other words…

3. We will find in our study of Joshua 7-8 what happens when sin is not taken seriously.

Our text is too long today to follow all the details, for if we did that, we might end just in time for our picnic today.

So I do encourage you to read the entire text on your own because it is a fascinating narrative.

OUR STUDY:

After the great success in chapter 6, we find that the following chapter begins with “but.”

As good as it has been, as good as the defeat of Jericho has been, we are going to have a problem.

It is, simply, a…

I. DEFEAT (7.1-9)

Israel has gone to the next logical place to conquer, Ai, and here is what happened…

(4) So about 3,000 men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, (5) and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.

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