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Summary: Part 1 of 3 in the 2nd of a 5-sermon series describing God’s provision for the people of Israel as it applies to His Church today. This sermon deals with God’s provision for His people’s autonomy or self-governance.

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YOUR PHYSICAL PROVISION—Part I —Joshua 15:1--19:51

The Smith’s were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. Their line had included Senators, Pastors, & Wall Street wizards.

Now they decided to compile a family history, a legacy for the children. They hired a well known author. Only one problem arose: how to handle that great-uncle George who was executed in the electric chair. But the author said not to worry, he could handle that section of history tactfully.

When the book appeared, the family turned to the section on Uncle George.

There, they read "George Smith occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, & his death came as a real shock."

Writer’s autonomy provided an atmosphere for Smith family glory.

Our God-given Autonomy can bring us an atmosphere for glorifying God.

God provided Israel with physical/territorial autonomy.

God’s Provision for the territorial autonomy of His people presents a unique atmosphere in which they can work.

What atmosphere is presented from God’s provision for His people’s autonomy/jurisdiction/self-governance?

God’s Provision for His people’s autonomy/self-governance/jurisdiction makes an atmosphere for His glory.

1—Self-governance gives God’s people

AN ATMOSHPERE FOR DIVERSITY(15:21-32; 33-47; 48-60; 61-62)

Explanation:(15:21-32; 33-47; 48-60; 61-62)

Southern Extremity(15:21-32)

15:21—“Now the cities at the extremity of the tribe of the sons of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were..”

Lowland(15:33-47)

15:33—“In the lowland: ....”

Mountains(Hill Country)(15:48-60)

15:48—““And in the hill country: Shamir & Jattir & Socoh,”

Wilderness(15:61-62)

“In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin & Secacah,”

People with different Likes/Dislikes—Roles—Giftedness settled in these areas.

Argumentation:

1Cor. 12:4-6—“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, & the same Lord. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.”

Prov. 20:10—“Differing weights & differing measures, Both of them are abominable to the LORD.”

Illustration:

Daddy hates flat land & loves mountainous, hilly areas/I love low, flat, sandy areas/Same family/Same country/Atmosphere for Diversity

Application:

?You taken advantage of available Diversity Opportunities?

?You taken advantage of God’s gift of self-governance?

2—Self-governance gives God’s people

AN ATMOSPHERE FOR COMMUNITY(18:4, 8-9)

Explanation:(18:4, 8-9)

18:4—“Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them, & that they may arise & walk through the land & write a description of it according to their inheritance; then they shall return to me.”

“3 men from each tribe”—21 Representatives of 7 tribes

18:8-9—“Then the men arose & went, & Joshua commanded those who went to describe the land, saying, “Go & walk through the land & describe it, & return to me; then I will cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh.” So the men went & passed through the land, & described it by cities in seven divisions in a book; & they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh.”

“Go & walk thru the land”—Determine/Visit the nuances of the land. See who lives there & resources available.

“Describe the land”—Desirable portions—Willing to influence.

If we don’t know our neighbor, how can we love them tangibly.

Argumentation:

Lev. 19:18—“ ‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.”

Illustration:

Door to Door salesman/Personal contact/A Sense of Community

Telephone solicitors/Impersonal/No Sense of Community

Application:

?You taken advantage of God’s Atmosphere of Community?

Awareness for Outreach—Neighbors—Resources

?You taken advantage of God’s gift of self-governance?

3—Self-governance gives God’s people

AN ATMOSHPHERE FOR ACHIEVEMENT(15:13-14)

Atmoshere in which we freely exercise our faith

Explanation:(15:13-14)

:13—“Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the LORD to Joshua, namely, Kiriath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron).

:14—“And Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai & Ahiman & Talmai, the children of Anak.”

Context in which to render service to God.

Argumentation:

Rom. 15:17-19—“Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word & deed, in the power of signs & wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem & round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”

Deut. 10:20—“You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him & cling to Him, & you shall swear by His name.”

Rom. 12:1—“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living & holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

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