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Summary: This sermon addresses the question that if God is a God of love and mercy, why does the Bible seem to suggest that God is more like a bully that He is friend.

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Background:

• Last week we talked about whether it is possible for God to change His mind. And we learned that God’s heart is set to move to

one of two positions depending on man’s reaction….judgment for wickedness; mercy and forgiveness for humbleness/repentance.

• In today’s passage, Joshua 11, we read a historical account of warfare between Israel and the nations of Canaan. And one by

one the enemies of Israel are being slaughtered and destroyed. War is an ugly event, and it is God who is leading the way.

• Our difficult verse is found in verse 20 – “For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that He

might utterly destroy them, that they might receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the LORD had commanded

Moses.” Where is the God of mercy, love and forgiveness?

• Ill: No one likes a bully; everyone sides with the underdog victim. This is the reason for the great disagreement in the Travon

Martin/George Zimmerman trial.

Is God a Bully?

I. God is Absolutely Perfect – He Cannot Sin!

• A sinful God is a god like man!

i. Deut. 32:4 – “The LORD…The Rock! His work is perfect

ii. Matt. 5:48 – “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

• A bully God would be a sinful god. “bully” – someone who is habitually cruel and mean to weaker, smaller people. A bully

implies a nature of meanness; only looking out for self at the expense of hurting the weaker person.

II. Sin is Absolutely Bad – It Deserves God’s Judgment!

• The Bible always views sin as evil and worthy of death. Gen. 2:17 – “…for in the day that you eat (disobey/sin) from it (tree of

the knowledge of good and evil) you will surely die.”

i. Adam and Eve sin = an animal is killed (Gen. 3:21)

ii. Flood = all of humanity die except 8 (Gen. 6-7)

iii. Israel’s rebellion = death from the golden calf, plagues, captivity

iv. Canaan’s conquest = God used Israel as an instrument of war/cleaning as the best platform most conducive for

righteous living on the part of His people.

v. Cross = Jesus’ dies the death of a criminal for sin’s debt Rom. 6:10

vi. Hell & Lake of fire = final separation for all those who reject Jesus. Rev. 20

• There is no references in Scripture were sin is viewed in a positive light. Sin is a universal problem that ends in sorrow and

death. God is always judging sin!

III. A Revealed God Demand’s a Verdict.

• Rejection: Pharaoh Exodus 5-14

- Ex. 3:19-20 – God is omnipotent (knows all, even future), He prepares Moses to understand that when Pharaoh is

introduced to Himself (Jehovah), his reaction will be to reject or harden his heart.

- Ex. 7:3 – God tells Moses that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart implies not that God is doing something to Pharaoh that

Pharaoh has no control over, but rather the more powerful the miracle, the more stubborn Pharaoh will become toward


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