Summary: This message deals with the consequences of sin in your life.
Our Complaint To God: “Why have you failed us?”
- Joshua 7:6-9.
- Joshua comes to the Lord with his complaints. The Lord had done great things for them, not the least of which was the recently completed crossing of the Jordan River. Still, there’s no doubt to Joshua that something has gone horribly wrong on God’s end and now they’d be better off if they had never left Egypt.
The Spiritual Reality: Sin leads to defeat.
- Joshua 7:11-12a.
- The truth of the matter is that Israel had sinned. God had given specific instructions on how to handle the conquering of Jericho and that had been ignored by Achan.
- The sin led to the defeat.
- This is a truth that we need to understand because we too often make a dangerous disconnect. The disconnect is between the way we behave and the way God is to deal with us.
- Somehow, we think that God’s actions on our behalf in whatever battles we’re fighting, whether they be to hold our position or to forge new ground for the Kingdom, should happen regardless of our behavior. But sin leads to defeat.
- We cannot misinterpret the grace of God to mean that we can do whatever we want and there are no practical consequences in our lives. We cannot misinterpret the forgiveness of God to mean that we can do whatever we want and then ask for a forgiveness that means that God magically makes everything work out.
- Thankfully, God does give grace. Thankfully, God does offer forgiveness. But properly understanding the price for that grace and forgiveness puts us in a place where we hate sin and want to get it out of our lives.
- Too many of us today have settled for a cheap grace that makes us feel good without requiring us to act differently. Too many of us today think that it’s God’s job to keep any bad things from happening to us even if it was our actions that created the bad situation in the first place.
- I’m especially thinking this morning (given the context of the passage) of those of you who feel God calling you forward to do something for Him. You’ve got to understand the ability of personal sin to disrupt that vision of God. You’ve got to understand the need to treat sin as the danger that it is.
- There are tons of ruins of visions and dreams and churches and ministries and outreaches that failed not because of a lack of planning or a poor strategy or God’s desire to bless, but because of someone’s sin. Sin leads to defeat. That’s why we have to treat it so seriously.
- Now, I want to make it very clear that not every defeat has our sin as its root. Sometimes there are other causes. Not every struggle we go through has sin as its root. I don’t want to make someone feel unnecessarily guilty this morning by implying that. I’m not.
- But we do need to look into our lives and take sin seriously. We don’t want to go down in defeat. But sin leads to defeat.
Spiritual Truths To Avoid That Outcome:
1. God has no tolerance for drama queens.
- Joshua 7:10.
- God responds to Joshua’s complaining accusation with stern words: “Get up!” It’s pretty obvious that not in a mood of mercy and not sympathetic to what Joshua has prayed. This doesn’t have anything to do with God’s faithfulness; it has to do with Israel’s faithfulness.
- When we encounter problems, people are often sympathetic. They may not know that the problems stem from our sin. In response to their kind words, we may play it up a little bit: “I don’t know why God is allowing this in my life, but I’m trying to remain strong.”
- Most of us have seen situations where we’ve told someone we’re praying for them in the difficulties that they’re facing and they express their appreciation in a way that makes us feel like they’re the victim in all this. “Where is God’s justice?” we wonder. Later, we discover that the problem came from a pattern of sinful behavior that they were hiding.
- Know that God is not amused by that.
2. Your sin’s consequences may not be immediately apparent.
- Joshua 7:1.
- Verse 1 indicates that God was angry with Israel over the sin, but yet there was no outward indication of that ire at that point. It wasn’t until they went into battle that the consequences showed up.
- Sometimes we sin and then nothing negative happens. We begin to think, “Hey, I got away with that one.” And so the next time is a little easier because we think there are no consequences. We need to remember that just because there is not an immediate consequence is not an indication that God wasn’t paying attention.