God Is In Control
Jun 09, 2019
Dave continued our series on Joshua, looking at Joshua 11.
Summary and context
In the early years of the Israelites crossing the Jordan into the promised land Joshua sees many victories and also defeats.
Victory when they enquire and are obedient to Him and defeat when they disobey or fail to enquire of the Lord.
1.The supernatural crossing of the Jordan river
2.Victory at Jericho
3.Salvation of Rahab
4.Defeat at Ai
5.Victory at Ai
6.Being deceived by the Gibeonites
7.The salvation of the Gibeonites
8.The Southern armies defeated when the sun stands still.
9.5 Southern kings defeated.
These are challenging chapters and Peter handled the issues so very well a few weeks ago.
I only wish to add one point here on that subject.
The Lord gave them many demonstrations of who he is. He started the conquest of Canaan from the south, where the main city of Jericho was so the local people could understand that he is God and in control. Rahab and family turned to God as a result.
The Gibeonites were afraid of this God so their way was to trick Joshua. It was still seen by the Lord as an act of faith in Him.
The other tribes in Canaan were incredibly corrupt morally. Worshipped God’s that they thought they could control by sacrifice of children to control nature. God showed that by stopping the sun and killing them with hail, he is the master of the weather and the solar system. They did not turn and worship Him. If they had, would would have been saved.
Romans 1 verse 18 -20.
“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”
Romans 1:18-20 NLT
I started my preparation for this passage thinking it would be about dealing ruthlessly with sin but I felt a Holy Spirit rebuke that Jesus has done that and that we live under grace.
Let me qualify that. We must deal with sin. Even put our foot on the neck of sin but we must learn to live in the tension of grace that is becoming more like Christ everyday but acknowledging that we make mistakes. I understood many years ago that knowing Him and loving Him is the best route to becoming less sinful in my day to day life.
An example. My children love me and hate to upset me or offend me. This sometimes stops them doing what they know makes me sad.
If you know your sin would make your Father sad, you wouldn’t do it.... I hope.
I chose the word “understood” carefully. I am still trying to walk that way but through pressures of life, spiritual laziness and other excuses I could come up with I still forget that truth that He loves me immensely.
My word this morning is that God is in control.
Joshua 11:1-23 NLT
Joshua had made mistakes early on in the invasion but he did learn that God was in control. As a gesture of faith Joshua burnt the chariots that could have given him a big advantage in the natural world but he had learnt that his God was way above that.
He knew God knew everything from the beginning to the end. He is omnipotent, all powerful, omnipresent - everywhere at the same time, omniscient - all knowing.
The enemies of God refused to learn that lesson.
Story of my job and pay rise being in God’s hands.
“The Holy Spirits job is not to control us but to remind us who we are and who He is and what He can do in us. “ Danny Silk.
Let me come back to a prophetic word for this church. One that is close to my heart, Lesley’s and a number of you here this morning.
““The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
Isaiah 41:17-20 NIV
The Israelites had to consecrate themselves (make themselves Holy) at the beginning of the conquest of the promised land.
We are made Holy when we start our journey with Christ, at the cross. We will never be more Holy but we can be more Christ centred and desire to be more Christlike.
As a church do we want to see miracles to glorify Him or make us look good?
For me the lesson of Joshua and the passage of Isaiah 41 v 17-20 is we live in a spiritually dry and barren sinful land, crying out for water. Satisfying this can only come from Him is a miraculous way so that all will see and understand what this means. That it is the Lord that has created this.
1.Do you know that God is in control?
2.Think of an example where He has demonstrated that He is in control of your life and share it with your group.
3.If you know that God is in control, how do you react in your day to day walk with Christ?
4.We often face opposition like the story of my job, support each other in prayer and encourage each other that “whatever will be will be “ is not a stance of faith but of passivity. Carefully and in a graceful way, challenge each other to stand against ungodly control.
5.Isaiah 41 17-20. Pray that as a church we speak boldly of our stories where Jesus is in control and that our activities glorify Him because he is in control.
6.“The Holy Spirits job is not to control us but to remind us who we are and who He is and what He can do in us. “ Danny Silk. Pray this for each other.