Summary: This sermon displays the dangers of allowing things in our life that God is displeased with.
Scripture: Joshua 7:1 –
Title: “Sin In The Camp”
Introduction: Joshua and the people of God were experiencing victory. They had come out of the wilderness, crossed the flooded Jordan River on dry ground. They had seen the walls of Jericho fall down after they had walked around them for seven days. WOW! These people are walking in the land of victory. You know, it’s wonderful to see what God can do with His people when they are surrendered to Him.
But all of a sudden in the midst of victory comes a smashing defeat. God’s people lose 36 of their finest young fighting men and on top of this they lose ground they had already gained as they were driven back. WHAT’S GONE WRONG?
God’s people are a people of VICTORY. When defeat comes there has to be a reason for it. Sin is the reason for defeat.
Dear Abby: “I have long been a student of the Bible, but I cannot find a list of the “Seven Deadly Sins” anywhere, and I am to embarrassed to ask my Pastor. Please tell me where I can find them.” -- Midwest Christian.
Dear Christian: “The ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ are not listed as such in any Bible. They can be found in the writing of St. Thomas Aquinas. They are: Envy, Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Pride, and Anger.
The Bible Defines Sin as: ‘Foolish Thoughts’ “The thought of foolishness is sin” (Proverbs 24:9)
‘Neglect of Opportunity’ “To him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17)
‘Breaking God’s Law’ “For sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4)
‘Vain Talk’ “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin” (Proverbs 10:19)
‘Contempt For Others’ “He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth” (Proverbs 14:21)
‘Unbelief’ “Whatsoever is not of FAITH is sin” (Romans 14:23)
“All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:7) (Page 1)
* You can’t ENJOY God’s victories and harbor sin in your life!
* There are some powerful lessons for us to learn in this story of God’s
people being defeated.
Before we go on let me ask some questions:
Are we enjoying the victories that we use to enjoy?
Are we seeing people saved and delivered from sin like we used to?
Are we seeing our Church grow the way it needs to grow?
Are our families solid and secure?
Are our young people growing?
Are we as in love with God as we used to be?
Do we feel the Holy Spirit’s presence like we used to?
I. The Loss of Victory.
a. Ai defeated the great army of Israel and killed 36 of Israel’s finest.
b. Nobody likes to LOSE. I don’t, you don’t, none of us like to lose.
c. When stores lose too many times they go out of business.
d. When ball teams lose too often coaches get replaced.
e. When companies lose too many times, jobs are lost.
f. When CHURCHES lose too often people go to hell.
g. When the world loses it starts looking for the cause of the problem and they find it and they fix it.
h. When the church loses we have to do the same thing.
i. We, the Church, have lost prayer out of the schools, we’ve lost the Bible out of our schools, we’ve lost the high moral standards of our past that made us the great nation we are, and the list is too long to continue.
WHAT CAUSED THIS TERRIBLE LOSS IN ISRAEL’S CAMP?
Everyone who has read this Scripture would answer, “Achan’s sin!” And you would be right, but could this LOSS have been avoided? I BELIEVE SO! (I will explain as I go on)
SIN IS THE VERY CULPRIT IN THIS HORRIBLE STORY OF DEFEAT and DEATH. (Page 2)
II. The Sin of Pride.
a. Ai was the next obstacle on the road to God’s promises.
b. After Joshua had his spies check out Ai they came back with a CONFIDENT REPORT. (7:3) “Send not all the people to battle, but let about 2 or 3 thousand go up to Ai, there’s no need to make all the people labor.” (OOPS!)
c. Never allow PAST VICTORIES to swell your heart with PRIDE.
d. Never ASSUME you can handle everything the same way.
e. It appears Joshua’s spies thought their victories had been achieved because of THEIR ABILITY.
f. “It’s a SMALL town!” (Don’t forget, DYNAMITE comes in SMALL packages!)
g. Satan uses small things to bring defeat in our lives. “the little foxes, that spoil the vines:” (Song 2:15)
III. The Sin of A Lack of Participation.
a. Back in chapter 6:5 “all the people” was the way things got done. – In chapter 7:3 “Let not all the people go up” -- Not all the people! – But after the slamming defeat we here the term “all the people” used in 8:1.