“The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why are you on the ground?”
Text: Joshua 7:7-10 (HCSB) 7 Oh, Lord God,” Joshua said, “why did You ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan! “What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back [and run] from its enemies? 9 When the Canaanites and all who live in the land hear about this, they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. Then what will You do about Your great name?” 10 The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why are you on the ground?
Intro: I have often wondered if mankind has done a very good job @ teaching the young how to prepare for defeat, failure and disappoint. If I was to ask you all to raise your hand if you like to fail, I don’t think too many hands would rise! But we all do make mistakes, fall short, we fail. It is a part of life, and that means even local churches fail, have their disappointments and yes even split. I think one of the biggest challenges for the church today is: do they have the strength the faith the trust in God to rise up from defeat?
I would assume that Joshua grew up a little different then most of us here today. Born a slave, he becomes the leader of Israel. Moses chose him to scout the land of Canaan and we know how that story ended he was one of two that would see the land of milk and honey. Joshua was appointed to lead Israel to Canaan. He was called and commissioned by the Lord to lead His people. Joshua had quite the winning record he went from victory to victory, crossing the flooded Jordan, conquering Jericho. But even with all those successes he too had to face defeat. Chapter 7 introduces the agony of defeat. A few thousand Israelites were sent to conquer Ai and they were defeated. Defeat and despair was Joshua’s new condition. Then it happened as it does for us today: The Lord’s call for Joshua to “Stand Up!” why are you on the ground?
Application: Rise up defeated one! This Old Testament story can easily relate to so many of us today who have been Called by God to do a great work and like Joshua we too have failed and now God is calling us to “Stand Up!” get back on you feet get off the ground and continue to do as I have instructed you to do!
Are word for today comes from the Old Testament, which means it will come from the Hebrew language. We should be familiar with its meaning: arise, stand, continue, get up, abide, stir up and succeed …
Hebrew Word: qûm
So God instructs Joshua to stop!
1. Joshua Must Stop Questioning God’s Character: vs. 7
“Oh, Lord God,” Joshua said, “why did You ever bring these people across the Jordan to hand us over to the Amorites for our destruction? If only we had been content to remain on the other side of the Jordan!”
So in are text today something goes wrong and Joshua did what so many of us do: blames God! How quickly Joshua forgets all the good things God had done. Brought Moses into the picture to bring them out of Egypt. Opened the sea for them, fed them Manna when they were hungry, Gave them water from a rock, led them across the flooded Jordan, enabled them to conquer mighty Jericho. Now after one defeat – Joshua blames God! Think of all God has done for us: loved us, gave His Son for us, offers us salvation by faith, and receives us when we come to Him. How can we blame God for defeats?
So God instructs Joshua to stop!
2. Joshua Must Stop Focusing on This One Defeat: vs. 8
“What can I say, Lord, now that Israel has turned its back [and run] from its enemies?”
Think of all the blessings already given, think of all the blessings promised for the future. Promises given to Abraham for his descendants, Promises given to Moses for the people, Promises given to Joshua: Joshua 1:5-9 (HCSB)
“No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance. 7 Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. 8 This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. 9 Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua had become problem-conscious instead of power-conscious, In spite of blessings and promises, he focused on one defeat. He must forget this defeat and expect victory: 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 (HCSB)
The application reminds us today to stand again when we fall; Joshua did not stay down like so many of us do today. I believe the time frame for Joshua’s down time was short lived. Because of his trust in God and faith that he experienced through all the works of God it was short lived!
So church, church member, Christian how long you going to focus on that defeat?
So God instructs Joshua to stop!
3. Joshua Must Stop Worrying About Public Opinion: vs. 9
“When the Canaanites and all who live in the land hear about this, they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. Then what will You do about Your great name?”
Joshua's major concern was the honor of God's name. He feared that the enemy would soon wipe out Israel and ridicule God's name. They would call the Lord weak, powerless, unable to save and deliver His people and to fulfill His promises to them. God's great name and His reputation were at stake. Therefore, above all else, Joshua begged God to protect His own name, to protect the strong witness of the Lord before the peoples of the earth. God will take care of His own reputation, God will lift up His
Conclusion: Joshua did rise up, Joshua led his people to Victory. We can rise up from defeat and win We have a resurrected, victorious Savior: 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (HCSB) 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” His victory is ours so we must rise and serve!
The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why are you on the ground?
His victory is ours so we must rise and serve! My focus for this message today has been on the challenges of Joshua and his leadership. I do need to mention thou the beginning of chapter 7 sets the stage for why the Israelites were defeated at Ai. You could say all of the Israelites were punished because of one mans sin. That man was Achan. His sin brought punishment on everyone. He disobeyed God and kept things he shouldn’t have.
Intercession is the answer to sin and defeat. When we sin and suffer defeat, we must seek the Lord in prayer. If we seek the Lord in prayer, He will hear us and meet our needs.
You think Joshua is the only one God has promised to work with? I know Joshua is not the only who had to overcome defeat. An enemy who is relentless and even time in the wilderness! WE all fall, the question I have? When are you going to get back up?
Joshua 1:7 (HCSB) “Be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction.”
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