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Crosing Jordan 6 Joshua 9

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Crossing Jordan 7 - Bad Decisions; nv 7/17/05 am

OS: We live in a time of choices and decisions like no other time in the history of man.

-Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, 34 flavors in 1977, sells 250 today.

-Arby's, sold one kind of roast beef sandwich when it was founded in 1964, now sells 30 sandwiches.

-Starbucks 19,000 ways it can serve a cup of coffee, but it has five kinds of milk

-Tropicana, which had two kinds of orange juice just a decade ago, now has 24.

 Citation: Bruce Horovitz, "You Want It Your Way," USAToday (March 5–7, 2004)

DECISIONS DECISIONS (“Instant Baby Formula”)

A married couple was celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. At the party everybody wanted to know how they managed to stay married so long in this day and age. The husband responded, "When we were first married, we came to an agreement. I would make all the major decisions, and my wife would make all the minor decisions." At which point the wife took up the tale, "And in 60 years of marriage we have never needed to make a major decision."

It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. Citation: J. K. Rowling, quoted in "Reflections," Christianity Today (6-19-00)

Not choices about a cup of coffee, or flavor of ice cream – choices that have consequences. – Choices that include commitments.

TEXT: Joshua 9:3-7, 14-19


TS] It took only three days to discover that they had made a mistake, but they had to live with it for a lifetime.

On a later occasion, when King Saul, broke the covenant, God sided with the Gibeonites and brought judgment upon Israel (2 Sam. 21:1). In their defense the Gibeonites appeared to be loyal once they made their decision.  


What lessons do we gain as we are conquering this land of new beginning? As you cross your own Jordan River in your life – what can you gain?


I.       Common Sense and intellectual reasoning will not always provide the right decision.

A.   Joshua & the leaders used reasoning and common sense.

                      1.       Some times things are not as they appear.

                         2.       Matt Emmons had the gold medal in sight. He was one shot away from claiming victory in the 2004 Olympic 50-meter three-position rifle event. He didn't even need a bull's-eye to win. His final shot merely needed to be on target. Normally, the shot he made would have received a score of 8.1, more than enough for a gold medal. But in what was described as "an extremely rare mistake in elite competition," Emmons fired at the wrong target. Standing in lane two, he fired at the target in lane three. His score for a good shot at the wrong target?—0. Instead of a medal, Emmons ended up in eighth place. It doesn't matter how accurate you are if you are aiming at the wrong goal. Citation: Alan Price, Chatsworth, Georgia; source: David Mordkoff, "American Emmons Misses Out on Gold by Firing at Wrong Target," (8-22-04)

B.   Quote -  “When common sense says that a course is right, lift up your head to God, for the path of faith and the path of blessing may be in a direction completely opposite to that which you call common sense. When voices tell you that action is urgent, that something must be done immediately, refer everything to the tribunal of heaven. Then, if you are still in doubt, dare to stand still. If called on to act and you have not time to pray, don’t act. If you are called on to move in a certain direction and cannot wait until you have peace with God about it, don’t move. Be strong enough and brave enough to dare to stand and wait on God, for none of them that wait on Him shall ever be ashamed. That is the only way to outmatch the devil.” [Alan Redpath, Victorious Christian Living: Studies in the Book of Joshua. (Westwood, NJ: Fleming Revell Co., 1955) pp. 143-143]


C.   Nothing should excuse us from seeking direction from God.

                      1.       The apparently obvious course of action is not necessarily always the right one to take.

                      2.       In all your major decision making in life be sure to seek guidance and direction from God, both at prayer and also by searching the scriptures

II.    When your decision involves a commitment, you keep it.

A.   Human reasoning would say, “it was made under false pretenses so it is void.” – nevertheless it is kept.

B.    Cartoons

                      1.       Church secretary, (to the preacher, holding the phone) “It’s Monty Williams. He wants to know if he can audit your discipleship class on total commitment.”

                      2.       Sign in front of church, “The Lite Church – 24% fewer commitments, home of the 7.5% tithe, 15-minute sermons, 45-minute worship services. We have only 8 commandments – your choice. Everything you’ve wanted in a church…and less!”

C.   Bible (Psalm 15)

                      1.       Ecc 5 4When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.  5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.  6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?  7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.

D.   Commitments:

                      1.       Married, had a child, baptized, etc.

                      2.       “Lord, help us be the church you want us to be”

                      3.       When you honor your commitments, God honors you.

TS] Common Sense and intellectual reasoning will not always provide the right decision. When your decision involves a commitment, you keep it.

III.   Bad decisions will be made, but take heart, God can make good come from even bad decisions.

A.   What was Joshua’s bad decision?

                      1.       Making the treaty?

                      2.       Failing to inquire of God.

                      3.       Consequences followed for generations.

B.   Nevertheless, God can use even our blunders to accomplish His purposes.

C.   As a punishment for their deception, Joshua put them to work by giving them the arduous task of cutting wood and carrying water every day for the altar in the tabernacle. This was no easy job. It was hard work.

D.   The Gibeonites ultimately derived spiritual blessing as a result of the work they undertook.

                      1.       They were there at the altar day in day out. They saw the sacrifices.

                      2.       They observed the true worship of the true God and from the rest of the records of the O.T. it is quite clear that these people were eventually fully incorporated into the congregation of Israel.

                      3.       Despite their deceitful beginnings they came to know and to serve the God of Israel.

Common Sense and intellectual reasoning will not always provide the right decision.

When your decision involves a commitment, you keep it.

Bad decisions will be made, but take heart, God can make good come from even bad decisions.

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