Summary: The children of Israel failed to take their full possession because they became indifferent to God’s purpose for them.
There is the parable of the wild duck told by the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard. One wild duck was flying with his mates across northern Europe. During the flight this wild duck left the others to land in a Danish barnyard where there were tame ducks. He
enjoyed the corn. He stayed for an hour, and then for a day, and then for a week, and then for a month. He enjoyed the corn and the safety of the barnyard, so he decided to stay the entire summer.
But one autumn day when the flock of wild ducks were winging their way southward again, they passed over the barnyard, and their mate heard their cries. He was stirred with a strange thrill of joy and delight, and with a great flapping of wings he rose in the air to
join his old comrades in their flight.
But he found that his good life had made him soft and heavy that he could rise no higher than the top of the barn. So he dropped back again to the barnyard, and said to himself,
“Oh, well, my life is safe here and the food is good.” Every spring and autumn when he
heard the wild ducks honking, his eyes would gleam for a moment and he would begin to flap his wings.
But finally the day came when the wild ducks flew over him and uttered their cry, but he paid not the slightest attention to them. What a parable that is of how the soul can forget its high ideals and standards and be content with lower things!”
Clarence Macartney, Preaching without Notes
The greatest danger to a believer in Jesus is to become content with lower standards. The
danger is to become half-hearted in living for Jesus. Our message today is
entitled... The Curse of being a Half-Hearted Christian, or the curse of Indifference.
In the book of Judges we have a clear picture of what happens when God’s people settle for low standards, and become content with a life of compromise.
Let’s read Judges, chapter 1.
Judges 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua....
Do you remember this great Bible character, Joshua? He began his role as leader in the book that bears his name, Joshua. In Joshua, chapter 1:1-4 “After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua...my servant Moses is dead, now arise go over this Jordan, you and all this people to the land which I am giving to them...Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said
Moses who wrote the first 5 books of the Bible
(Genesis...Exodus..Leviticus..Numbers..Deuteronomy) He led the nation of Israel (about 2 million people) to exit Egypt. That’s what Exodus means a departure. They left Egypt bound for the Promised Land...or the land of Canann. Why were they going to the land
of Canaan? It was their land. God had given it to them. He promised it to Abraham, who was the father of the nation of Israel.
“In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great reiver, the river Euphrates: 19 The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 And the Hittites, and the Perizzites,
and the Rephaims, 21 And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the
Moses led God’s people out of Egypt (which represents the world). We have been saved from the world. That’s why the Bible says love not the world, neither the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (IJohn 2;15). This
world is not our home, our citizenship is in heaven. After Moses was dead, Joshua takes on the leadership position to bring the children of Israel into the Promised Land, the land of Canaan. But in Canaan, there were pagan nations. Wicked, Heathen nations inhabited the Promised Land. It was the responsibility of God’s people to take back their land and drive out the heathens. They make some progress. Do you remember Joshua leading Israel to march around the city of Jericho? They marched around that huge walled city and blew trumpets and shouted and the walls came tumbling down. That was the first city
to be destroyed in the land of Canann...the Promised Land. And then there were other cities they destoryed. The key word in the book of Joshua is “utterly destroy”. The campaign of destroying the wicked nations and taking possession of the land that was
rightfully theirs is the theme of Joshua. As you read the last chapter of Joshua, it is obvious that there is much more land to conquer. There are more pagans to drive out.