1) 5-4-08…AM…SBC 2)
“Standing on the Promises”
#1- One day a woman was washing her breakfast dishes when she saw Jimmy, the five-year-old neighbor, headed straight toward the back porch.
She had just finished painting the back-porch handrails, and she was proud of her work.
“Come around to the front door, Jimmy,” she shouted.
“There’s wet paint on the porch rails.”
“I’ll be careful,” Jimmy replied, not turning from his path.
Don’t come up the steps,” she shouted, knowing of Jimmy’s tendency to mess things up.
“I’ll be careful,” he said again, by now dangerously close to the steps.
“Jimmy, stop!” she shouted.
“I don’t want carefulness.
I want obedience!”
*As the words burst from her mouth, she suddenly remembered Samuel’s response to King Saul: /To obey is better than sacrifice./*
How would Jimmy respond, she wondered.
To her relief, he shouted back, “All right, I’ll go around to the front door.”
As he turned around the house, she thought to herself, *“How often am I like Saul or like Jimmy, wanting to go my own way?
I rationalize, ‘I’ll be careful, Lord’ as I proceed with my own plans.”*
*But He doesn’t want carefulness.
He wants obedience.**
#2 – The Second London Confession of Faith
Ø established by the Pastor’s of Particular Baptist churches of England and Wales in 1677
Ø this became the most important of all Baptist confessions
Ø *a revision of the 1677 confession made its way to America through Elias Keach and became the body for the Philadelphia Confession of Faith which was the dominant Baptist confession in the New World*
Ø On obedience the 1677 confession said this…
“Good works done in obedience to God’s commandments are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith; and by them believer’s manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edifie their brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel…and glorifie God, whose workmanship they are, created in Chris Jesus…”
“they are not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty…but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the Grace of God that is in them.”
“We cannot by our best works merit pardon of Sin or Eternal Life at the hand of God by reason of the great disproportion that is between…us and God.”
Ø *God’s people have always been challenged with their obedience – *all the way from Israel to the NT Church to the Early Church and then to us
Transition: What we find this morning in the book of Joshua is that…
*Proposition: *Success for God’s people must be measured according to one’s obedience to God’s revealed Word.
1) The Promise of Security *v1-5*
Ø *Joshua opens with the word “and” or “then” signifying its continuation of the previous events in Deuteronomy.
– *Deuteronomy opens with “these things” signifying its new beginning
Ø Every book from Joshua to 2 Kings starts with “then” signifying its linked back to Deuteronomy
Ø Remember that the first section of the book runs from chapter 1-5 and deals with Israel’s Entry into the Land
A- Boundaries of the Promised Land *v1-4*
1- God is the one who gives the land; even when humans are the agents of the verb’s action, they act on God’s behalf.
2- *The grammar of this passage *(Perfect of Resolve or Prophetic) *tells us Israel was not /about/ to be given the land, but it already /had/ been given it.***
Ø *Show Slide: *Joshua is facing the Western border of the Great Sea (Mediterranean), South is the border of the wilderness (maybe all of Saudia Arabia), East is the land of the Hittites, and North is Lebanon north of the Sea of Galilee
B- Victory in the Promised Land *v5a*
1- It is a heart-warming promise to Joshua himself that (1) his and the Israelites’ efforts would succeed and (2) God would never leave him.
2- The success and prosperity which God promised had their source in God Himself.
C- Leadership in the Land *v5b*
1- It is doubly encouraging when we see that God promised to be with Joshua /in the same way/ that he was with Moses.
2- This God whose name was Yahweh promised Moses that he would be with him; indeed, his name was inextricably tied in with this idea of his keeping covenant to be with his people.
*Application: *This means that God’s people can move forward in God’s will and be assured of God’s presence.
*Hebrews 13:5* Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(ESV)
· Be encouraged by God’s faithfulness to you!
Ø The real test of our Christianity isn’t seen in our work or activity, or even in our theological purity.
It’s found in this: when we have an opportunity to wander away, to disobey, to leave his presence, do we choose instead to stay close to him, to abide in Christ, to obey?
Transition: After the promise of security to both Joshua and Israel, Joshua is now given…
2) The Promise of Success *v6-9, especially v8*
A- It is interesting that God’s instructions here to Joshua are not about military matters, given that Joshua and the Israelites faced many battles ahead.
o *the keys to his success were spiritual, directly related to the degree of his obedience to God.***
o Many Christians read these and other passages as guarantees that all Christians will (or should!) succeed in every venture they undertake and that they will prosper financially if they are truly following God. – *Prosperity Gospel*
o Job and Proverbs would seem to speak differently about this deceptive guarantee
B- God’s Word, even from it’s first appearance as a book, was to take a position of unqualified supremacy
1- It was set above Joshua and all of his actions were to be regulated by it
2- The first title given to God’s Word is “Law” – referenced the genre also
a- carries more force than the governmental law of the land because it was God’s law
b- *but just like the laws of the land you and I can chose to disregard it but only at a very high cost to our lives*
3- הָגָה (meditate) does not mean theoretical speculation about the law, such as the Pharisees indulged in, but a practical study of the law, for the purpose of observing it in thought and action, or carrying it out with one daily life.
- What is your gauge of success in your own life – financial security, home, retirement savings, modern conveniences, successful children, business success?
· if your compass for success doesn’t point to the obedience of God’s Word then you are as lost as a blind man searching for the Amusement park in the Mall of America – it is right there but you can’t see it
- maybe you’d say that you are just too busy to engage in regular spiritual meditation
· it is not because you lack time, but because you lack a true heart for God
· then you need to evaluate where the treasures of your heart truly lie
- some of you have been visiting this church for a while and are not saved
· will you begin a life long endeavor to obey God by putting your faith in Christ today?
Transition: After the Promise of Security and the Promise of Success we see lastly…
3) The Promise of the Subjects *v10-18, esp.
Ø Joshua’s instructions to the people here likewise concern not military strategy or equipment, but for breaking camp, for readying food supplies for their journey.
Ø Remember, The possession of the land was, in effect, an already-accomplished fact; the Israelites merely needed to load up with supplies, since God would be giving the land into their hands 
Ø *v*Joshua’s charge to the two-and-one-half tribes who were to settle east of the Jordan (in Transjordan) springs from their earlier transaction with Moses, when these tribes were granted the right to settle there (see Num 32:1–42; Deut 2:26–3:17).
Ø what transpired here was that Joshua first gave his instructions to the officials of the people (vv.
10–11), then gave another set of instructions to the Transjordan tribes (vv.
12–15), and finally the nation as a whole (or its representatives) responded by affirming his leadership (vv.
A- All the people of the nation together affirmed their loyalty to Joshua and to his instructions
1- “Just as we obeyed Moses, we will obey you.”
– If I was Joshua that would have scared me a lot!
2- the people’s pledges of obedience and loyalty to Joshua certainly must have been encouraging to this new leader
*3- **And there is no indication in the text that the people were anything but sincere in their words.**
4- The people had already said this before in *Exodus 24:3,7* – “All the words of the Lord…we will do.”
Ø We will follow these people over the next several weeks to see if they will really do all the Lord commanded them
*Conclusion: *What about you?
Have you ever promised something to the Lord and not made good on your end of things?
Is your spiritual life like a diet that starts again every Monday?
Why not enter into the joy of the Lord by obedience to Him
· Will you accept Him by faith for salvation today – some of you are taking a chance every chance ever time you walk away
· Will you prayerfully this week seek to obey His word?
· Begin to see success as obedience to God’s Word – nothing more nothing less
- obedience to salvation, holiness, church membership, tithing, etc
Robert J. Morgan, /Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes/, electronic ed.
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), 589.
David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, /Joshua/, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 78.