“Get Up Off Your Face”
I. Doing As God Has Commanded
A) Joshua leads the children of Israel with God’s blessing
- In Joshua chapter 6, we can see God had been with Joshua in the takeover of Jericho.
- God asked Joshua to have his men march 7 times around the walls of Jericho and watch them fall down. (Jericho had two walls that surrounded the city. The outer wall of 6 inches thick and the inner wall that was 12 inches thick.)
- God had commanded Joshua to spare Rahab and her family because she had helped God’s spies escape the city.
- God had also told them to take the gold and silver collected in the city of Jericho and donate it to the church.
- God had also told them to kill every man, woman, child, and animal in the city of Jericho.
- God had also told them not to rebuild the city after destroying it.
B) God blesses those who do what He commands them to do.
- God was with Joshua and made him famous throughout the country. Why?
- Because they followed every order of God in detail.
- The Israelites were not bothered or picked on any more as they kept God’s commandments and obeyed Him.
- God rewarded them with popularity. This created fear in the hearts of Israel’s
- Proverbs 16:7…When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
- In other words… when we do things to make God pleased with us, our enemies will not want to fight with us.
C) Be Careful of Pride
- When we as Christians are enjoying ourselves and our relationship with Christ and all is blessed and well, sometimes we get a little cocky and think we are above reproach. That is when we sin, and God has to humble us by bringing His judgment upon the proud.
II. Committing A Trespass
A) Commit a trespass in the accursed thing
- Now let us look at Chapter 7 verse 1…But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
- First of all, what is a trespass? Note first of all that it wasn’t the act of one person because he said “the children of Israel” not “the child of Israel.”
- A trespass is… a sin or wrong action against someone or a law. In this case, it was an action taken against God and His command.
- God laid down the Law or rather the rules of what they were to do and they disobeyed, or committed a trespass.
- What was the trespass? It says they “took the accursed thing.” Well, what did they take? God said in Joshua 6:17, 18 not to take anything from the city of Jericho as it was considered accursed from God. “they” meaning Achan and his family.
- Secondly, what is an accursed thing?
- The “accursed thing” was anything other than Rahab and all that was in her house, and the gold and silver to be given to the house of the LORD. The Bible is not specific as to what they took.
- I believe this is God’s point in not being specific as to show us that it really doesn’t matter what they took, or how much they took…it’s the mere fact that “they took.”
- I believe that God looked at it as a theft, a robbery of God’s Divine order.
- When God says “Thou shalt not…” That is exactly what He means.
B) Judgment awaits the disobedient
- We know that there are times when God will overlook sins. But you will note here in Joshua 7:1b… and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
- This means God was very angry with Israel. Hey look at this for a minute…
- In Exodus 4:14 … “the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses.” Here God was angry because Moses was making excuses for not surrendering to His will and leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. God did nothing.
- But in Numbers 11:1… the people complained and God burned them up! It said there also that “the anger of the Lord was kindled,” And God built a fire in the camp and consumed part of them.
- Note in Deuteronomy 29:27…And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: 28) And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day. Here in this verse Moses is explaining to the children of Israel of their journey from Egypt to now has been blessed and God has allowed them to defeat these cities because they worshipped idols made of wood, silver, and gold.
- And then in II Samuel 6:6, 7… And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. The man Uzzah slipped and fell and touched the Ark of the Covenant and God killed him. This was just for an “error”
- I could go on and on about all the times that “God’s anger was kindled.” But know this about God… He is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
- It doesn’t matter how little or big the sin is, it doesn’t matter how big or little the person is, or their status in life, when you sin, you get punished. God’s judgment will be applied.
- When you disobey, expect the judgment of God and pray that you have not
“kindled the anger of the LORD.”
III. Defeated By The Enemy For Disobedience
A) Israel turns tail and runs
- Read Joshua 7:2-5. Here you will see that Joshua sends two men to spy on the city of Ai. God had ordered Joshua to send everybody there to Ai and fight. Joshua and his men felt this would be a waste of everyone’s time when they felt that they could easily take the city with about 2000 to 3000 men.
- Here again, man not obeying God’s order, His Law, His command, but rather making what they believe a more rational judgment of their own.
- So when they go to war with Ai, about 36 men get killed right off the bat so they turn themselves around and retreat with their tails between their legs in humility.
- In fact, the Bible says here that “their hearts were melted and became as water.”
B) When defeated, throwing a fit is not the answer
- This is hilarious… look at verses 6-9…
- Joshua and his men have now reduced their manliness from being a coward to being a child.
- When children do not get their way, what do they do? Throw a fit, a temper tantrum.
- That is exactly what Joshua and His men do in verses 6-9.
- They rent (tear) their clothes
- They throw themselves down on the ground all day up to the evening.
- They put dust on their heads.
- Joshua complains “Why did you bring us all the way to Ai from Jordan to be destroyed?”
- Then he asks… “God, did you not want us to be content on the other side of Jordan?”
- Now pride shows up in Joshua’s voice in verses 8 and 9… “What am I going to say when people (The Canaanite) say… “Joshua and his men are such cowards that their God is even ashamed to help them.” Or “See God, there goes all the glory and honor due you.”
- Throwing a fit of rage and anger basically because he was embarrassed by his men’s actions not realizing their heart’s condition.
- What was their heart’s condition? Transgression. Rebellion. God gave them an order, and they disobeyed it.
- When man realizes his heart’s condition (sinful, prideful, rebellious), he is humbled and his face hits the ground. When a true Christian realizes their condition, they feel low, and undeserving of God’s grace and love.
IV. Now It Is Time To Get Up Off Your Face
A) Israel/You hath sinned
- Look at Joshua 7:10-15.
- Note verse 10…And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
- Really what God is doing in this verse is asking Joshua… “Get up son, why are you on your face?
- In other words, “Joshua you are the leader, get up and act like one. Your people have sinned. Get busy and find out who did it and then carry out the judgment.”
- Look folks, It’s high time that we all get up off our faces and start being the leaders that we are supposed to be. Leading people to Christ, and to repentance.