Summary: What would happen in our churches if God sent an angel to preach?
THE ANGEL WHO MADE MEN CRY
INTRO: Needless to say, people would be startled to attend church and discover that the Angel of the Lord was standing in the pulpit to deliver a direct message from God. People would sit up and listen-no sleeping. When the children of Israel gathered in the Promised land expecting to hear Joshua preach God sent his own angel to preach the sermon. What was that message, and what effect did it have on the people? What effect would it have on us today, if God were to send an angel to preach to us?
I. THERE WERE TEARS OF REGRET.
The conviction of the peoples sins brought sorrow. The place where the experience happened was named Bochim which means: “a weeping place.” They had begun to worship idol gods, and the gods became a snare to them.
The parents’ sin affected their children. The next generation knew not the Lord (v. 10).
The results of sin are hurt and sorrow. Regret for our sins must become real to us before we can acknowledge we are sinners. Many times we don’t feel regret for our sins. Many times we may confess them out of guilt, without really wanting to stop doing them. God does not forgive this kind of confession. Regret is a necessary part of forgiveness.
II. THERE WERE TEARS OF REPENTANCE.
The people offered a sacrifice to God. They turned from their idol worship. They had forsaken God many times since leaving Egypt. At this point, they had inner-married and were worshiping idols.
When the angel of God reminded them of this, they repented and offered a sacrifice to God.
ILLUS: Definition of repentance given by a 14 year old girl to her Sunday School class. “Before I was saved, I pleased myself, and wasn’t a bit sorry for my sins. In fact, I didn’t think I was a sinner at all, but when I accepted Christ, I wanted to please Him, above anybody, and was real sorry I ever grieved Him.”
Repentance is the first step on the road to Spiritual recovery. If we do not take that first step, we can never walk with God. God’s continuing love for us in the midst of our sins is a beautiful picture of His grace. We are undeserving violators of His Covenant, and need to repent.
III. THERE WERE TEARS OF REJOICING.
The Hebrew children made new commitments to God, which resulted in new directions for their lives (v. 7). They served God the rest of the time that Joshua led them, and the elders who outlived Joshua. Because of the regret for their past failures, and their repentance, they had a new beginning with God.
But they waited to late to change direction in their lives, because their change did not reach their children.
ILLUS: Peter’s experience. Denial—Christ’s forgiveness. Prodical son sank to the bottom of life in the pigpen—father’s welcome when he returned home.
When we look at our lives, and what God has done for us, there is reason for great rejoicing. Fulfillment takes the place of emptiness. Life has meaning when we rejoice in serving Him.