Summary: We can only be odedient to God if we fully carry out what He tells us to do.
Text: Joshua 10:16-28
Title: “Pursuit of Obedience”
I. Avoiding Distractions (16-21)
• The first thing Joshua does is to access the situation and take care of those things of first importance.
o Joshua and the children of Israel have the 5 kings sealed inside the cave they were hiding in so that they could finish pursuing the enemy.
o How easily it would have been for Joshua to get distracted by the kings, who were no real threat at this point, and let the enemy escape, regroup, and come back and fight.
o The temptation would have been to go after the kings; there was glamour and notoriety in killing an enemy king.
• We are faced with the same distractions as the church.
o We sometimes fail to assess the differences between what it is that I want and what it is that God wants me to do.
o So often we don’t even distinguish between the two.
o Or we only want to do those things that are “glamorous” or that will bring attention and we fail to do the simple things that need to be done.
o We want to be out front leading when God says I need you to sweep a floor or clean a bathroom.
o The example Jesus gave us when He washed the disciples’ feet.
• But the children of Israel leave the kings and pursue after the enemy.
• Notice the phrase, “for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hand.”
o We are involved in carrying out God’s plans, but we have no determination in the final outcome, that belongs to God.
o But God has promised us victory just the same.
o Look at the promises He gives to the 7 churches in Revelation
o Ephesus: Revelation 2:7 -- 7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
o Smyrna: Revelation 2:10 -- 10 Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
o Pergamum: Revelation 2:17 -- 17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
o Thyatira: Revelation 2:26-28 -- 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— 27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’— as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
o Sardis: Revelation 3:5 -- 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
o Philadelphia: Revelation 3:12 -- 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
o Laodicea: Revelation 3:21 -- 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
• Vs. 21 “they returned in peace” because they were obedient to God.
II. Paying The Penalty Of Sin (22-27)
• We read this account and we think of how humiliating, how fearful and how terrible it was to suffer such a fate.
o That is the point!
o The payment for sin is a humiliating, bloody, and terrible thing.
o Aren’t you thankful that Jesus took ours for us?
Philippians 2:8 -- 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Hebrews 12:2 -- 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
o For Jesus it was no small thing either.
• We cannot help but to see the imagery here.
• These 5 kings were hung on a tree, placed in a tomb that was sealed with a rock.