Summary: Is it possible for a Christian to live a defeated life?
Victory side of life # 10
Recovery from setbacks by Gerald Van Horn
Text Joshua 8:30
Is it possible for a Christian to live a defeated life? Many Christians live an up and down experience. They’re up one day and down the next. God did not intend for His people to always be defeated. That doesn’t mean that there are difficulties that come our way. I prefer to call them challenges.
Can Christians recover lost ground? Joshua 8 is a prime example of recovering what we may have lost or that Satan stole from us. This setting is an attempt to regain lost ground.
Here is a great lesson! Progress in this Christian life can often be easy but when setbacks come it is very difficult to recover. 30 minutes of disobedience can mean 30 years without the blessing of the Lord on your life.
There are many that preach, teach and lead in Christian service that are living without blessings. It has become mechanical to them. Service is routine. They have lost the joy of the Lord. Israel had been defeated and lost ground. There was written a principle by which they would regain everything God had given them. Today we learn that principle.
1. The scene unfolds.
Israel had traveled 30 miles to Shechem. This was one of the loveliest places in all of the promise land. What a place for such a dramatic even to take place. It was not the first time that Shechem was mentioned. It was there that Abraham had received the promise that the land was his and his people. Jacob dug a well there as well. Jesus spoke to the women at the well there and told her all that was in her heart. But none is more stirring than the event that was about to take place. There they were taught the importance of the law. It could either bless or curse them.v.34 it was also a choice between life and death. It was a serious matter.
May I remind all of us that there are laws to be kept? Some would have you to believe that we do not need to keep the laws of God. Do not be deceived. The law of reaping and sowing comes in play here. Many of our young people are sowing wild seeds and then praying for crop failure. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:17 “Think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfilll.” Notice v. 19 of that same chapter: “Whosoever, there- fore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” The whole 8 th Chapter of Romans explains the fact that the law is in Christ and if you are in Christ then you have the law and it must be kept.
2. The method of victory
For the first time since Israel crossed the river Jordan attention is called to an alter. They are back to worship. Back to discipleship. Back to obedience to God’s Word. How often we come short of what God can do for us by ignoring the basic principles of His Word.
God instructs them exactly how they were to take the city. vs.1-2. It was a clear mandate.
We find here an example of how to win the battle over our own difficulties. To put it simply - God has the answer. When God moves and manifests Himself the victory is sweet.
All Christians face battles in life:
“Be neither afraid nor dismayed by reason of the multitude, for the battle is not yours, but the Lords.” 2 Chronicles 20:15.
“Ye shall not need to fight in the battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 20:17.
. “Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him.”
“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?”
“Fight the good fight of faith." “ I Timothy 6:12.
The battle for the child of God is between truth and lies. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life.” We are to try the spirits whether they be of God.” I John 4:1.
3. Co-existing with the enemy. 9:16-27.
No sooner than Israel had a great victory then here comes the enemy. It’s a pattern as old as time. We need to learn this lesson well. The Gibeonites pretend they have traveled a long way off. To lend crudence to the scene, they dress in old clothes. They put on old worn out shoes. Their wine bottle skins are torn. Their bread was moldy. The fact is they lived just a little ways away. They did say they had heard of Israel and that they believed in their God. v. 9.