FAITH TO ENTER GOD’S PROMISES
Don’t Let Past Sin Keep you from Finishing Well
Jerry A Collins
Can we ever expect to recover from temptation to future victory?
What exemplifies a person who overcomes deception?
What are the characteristics of fighting a battle well?
This past week I directed a spiritual life emphasis day for high schooler’s from Calvary Christian. In one of the sessions we had invited Carla, a lady who has recovered from a drug addicted past through the ministry of the Muskegon Rescue Mission, to share her testimony about recovering from addiction. She made it clear that a major motivation to stay in drugs and on the street is the shame associated with this choice. Family suffers, society suffers, and the addict suffers. The shame caused in the lives hurt and torn by this addiction produces it’s own sense of worthlessness and this shame makes a person conclude that there is no hope and no help. That is, until 9/11 shook Carla’s world and brought her out of a 27 year stupor to the doorstep of the mission—then to Jesus Christ—then to recovery and dignity again. Joshua 10 is about recovery from one’s past. Specifically from deception. It is an example of how a good man recovers after falling from temptation. How does one do that?
1. DON’T THINK PEOPLE WILL BE IMPRESSED BY GOD 10:1-5
Here is the same song—second verse. We read the beginning of a
confederacy in 9:1-2. Instead of being impressed with God’s work and repenting, these kings decided
to attack and fight. With astounding evidence compiled for generations and also
contemporary, they refuse to receive it and blindly, rebelliously fight on.
Here we pick up this confederacy attacking a traitor city,
2. SPIRITUAL RECOVERY INVOLVES KEEPING OUR WORD 6-7 First,
the Gibeonites send a desperate word to Joshua. One
mite think it would be easier to ignore this plea and be rid of the ones that
deceived you—made you look so foolish.
It seems as if the Gibeonites thot
this mite happen with words like do not
abandon us, come quickly and save us, help us. Second, Joshua’s word
bound him to act and he did so immediately. And when he received word of the
siege, he kept his word to the Gibeonites.
3. SPIRITUAL RECOVERY INCLUDES CONFIDENCE IN GOD
Joshua receives a word from God
to bolster his confidence in God and then observes the work of God for success.
God said to not fear the kings because He gave them into Joshua’s hands. It was on this basis that Joshua
would move confidently forward into the skirmish. It was this Word that motivated
him to aggressively march all night long. Don’t
let your past sin compromise the Word of God in the future vs
8. Joshua’s failure with the treaty
with Gibeonites did not keep him from obeying God’s Word after that. Second, while Joshua
launches his surprise attack, God threw large stones on them from the sky. God
miraculously intervened. Joshua’s free
will choices, responding to the Gibeonites plea,
marching all night and attacking, are combined with the sovereign intervention
of God. Be aggressive in pursuing God’s
program, even if you are handicapped by the consequences of your sin vs 9-10 just like Joshua did. Then depend upon God to make
your ministry successful vs 11. In this case the
fleeing armies had begun to outdistance the weary Israelites exhausted from an
all nite march so the Lord intervened. You will not
know how the Lord may work to bring spiritual success to you but pursue God’s program vigorously in spite of past sin
and trust Him to work His work His way. No one could miss the significance of
this great storm at this specific time. God was fighting for
4. SPIRTUAL RECOVERY INCLUDES PRAYER WHILE PURSUING GOD’S PROGRAM
Joshua spoke to God and asked that the sun stand still in the sky vs 12-15. He prayed, asking God to help him do what God wanted him to do. (a) The view that there was a slowing down of the earth to make more hours in the day. (b) The view that there was no irregularity in the rotation but some strange reflection of the sun allowing light to continue making more daylight hours (northpole) but not more hours in the day. We should pray for God’s intervention as we pursue God’s program. Ask for God’s intervention about your debt problem as you pursue getting out of debt. We can not know how God may do that or if He would but we can pray for that while we pursue His will.
5. SPIRITUAL RECOVERY INCLUDES FINISHES WHAT YOU START 16-43
First, we have a record of the systematic victory Joshua had over the five kings vs 16-28. In the aftermath of the initial battle, these kings hid themselves in a cave. Joshua simply instructed his men to roll a huge boulder over it’s entrance so they could not escape and go and finish the battle. In vs 19 he says, do not stay there yourselves, pursue your enemies and attack them…for the Lord your God has delivered them into your hand. It was only after they had completed this task, that they returned to these kings vs 23 and killed them. Some things need to be done right away and some things need to wait. But finish what you start and don’t let your past sin, like Joshua’s deception, keep you from finishing well.
Second, he begins the
campaign against the other cities in southern and central
(1) You can learn from your past mistake or you can repeat it. Either way you get to live with the consequences.
(2) The better choice is to learn from it and not repeat it. That way you limit the consequences you have to respond to.