Summary: Overcoming obstacles that have defeated us in the past. Joshua had to help Isreal overcome Jericho in order to inhabit the promised land. Based on the book of same title authored by Gary Inrig. Sermon 1 of series
OVERCOMING THE GRASSHOPPER COMPLEX
Israel was at a crossroads in their journey. After years of travel, after some intense time with God in the desert, after some battles against over whelming odds, they stood at the cross roads of victory. Not the final victory that they had anticipated but the victory of one phase of the journey. They could look across the river Jordan and see the land of milk and honey. they could taste the honey, golden in color adding some flavor to the dry tasteless mannon that God had so faithfully provided. their mouths watered at the thought of the feast that would be provided once they crossed that river. The feast of reward for their hard travel.
Can’t you imagine the wives excitement at not having to pack up the tent and move again? The excitement of having four walls and a solid roof over their head? I can hear the men discussing when to plant their crops. "How long will it take to break the sod?" "What seen will bring the best harvest in the land?"
Boys running and yelling, dogs barking, everywhere you turn there is excitement in the air because all we have to do is cross over this little river and we are there. the journey’s end. sitting with anticipation waiting for the reports from those 12 men sent out to explore this new land that God has promised us is ours.
I) The Report
A) Land of plenty (vs.23)
b) Land of people - it is an occupied land
c) Land of Giants
II) Israel’s Reaction (14 1-4)
Immense fear - immobilizing fear. Israel had reason to fear the Canaanites.
The questions is always, "What will we do with the report that has been given? That is the key to ReFocusing, what will we do with what we have learned?
A) Canaanites were better armed.
horses, chariots and weapons made of iron
practiced in warfare from internal battle for centuries.
B) Canaanites were fortified.
tents vs. city surrounded by walls
C) Canaanites were bigger physically.
With all these reasons to be afraid, to not attack -Israel forgot one thing!! God was on their side. He had brought them this far. He had taken them through other battles. He had told them to claim and occupy this land.
My friends, you and I are called by God to occupy some territory. Not physical land or property, but none the less God has called us to claim and occupy some territory. Most of the time we are afraid, the unknown is frightening to us. Much of the time our reasons for being afraid is legitimate, they are real.
III) What Fear Does
A) Doubting Heart
They forgot the previous victories: Parting of the Red Sea. Maybe they felt God had failed them in the past as they remembered His discipline for grumbling and disobedience. (bitter waters at Marah; killed 3,000 for building a golden calf.
The very hardships of the journey seemed to make "trusting an invisible God to fight a visible enemy to much to ask". Besides they were to tired to fight. They didn’t believe in fighting.
They didn’t have Paul to tell them "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Heb 11:1) They didn’t have James to say, "But when asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."