Sunday School Material 7-3-11: Dealing With Disobedience

(Joshua 7:1, 10-12, 20-26; 7/3/11)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is that sin must be dealt with to restore God's favor and to turn off Hs anger. Prayerfully, we will be challenged deal with our sin issues immediately.

Body:
Read Joshua 7:1, 10-12
I. Sin Committed.
In the Sunday School material the Israelites are suffering the consequences of taking an accursed thing.

Interestingly, a man by the name of Achan actually took the items in question. God tells Joshua to go handle the matter or else God will not be with them in battle.

Applications -
- “In this thing together.”
Notice in vs. 1 of the Sunday School material that the idea of “being in this thing together” may include our suffering the consequences of the actions of others.

And our actions may well have an impact on the rest of those in our family or body of Christ. Therefore, on one hand, we should work to strengthen the weakest link, since their sin may impact us.

Think about how over half of the church robs God of His tithes, time, and talent.

On the other hand, we should be mindful of how our actions or lack of actions impacts others. Think about how every team member has an assignment on a football or basketball team.

Let's be mindful of the responsibility that comes with “being in this thing together.” We should work on being mature Christians who help others be mature.

- Dealing with sin. Notice in vss. 1, 10-12 of the Sunday School material that God s angered by sin and wants it dealt with. It should be no surprise that God’s angered by sin. But notice that He does not want us to simply acknowledge His anger.

God wants sin dealt with. There are too many who are aware of their sins and aware of God's anger but are not fixing the sin problem. Let's work on fixing the sin problems in our lives.

This often calls for both a confession of sin and a turning to doing God's will. Prayerful study and wise counsel can help discern God's will. But there is no substitute for obeying the will of God.

- God’s communication pattern. Notice in vs. 10 of the Sunday School material that God speaks to the leader He sent. Too often we look to the wrong people and sources for what is wrong.

Let's work on praying for God to speak to the leader He sent and the leader’s having the wisdom and courage to do God's will.

We extend our time of suffering, when we are more concerned with what the people want and how we have been doing things than we are with God's will.

Read Joshua 7:20-26
II. Sin Dealt With.
Achan confessed his sins. Joshua had the matter investigated. After the matter was established, Joshua and the Israelites stone Achan, his stuff, and his family. Then the Lord turned from His anger towards the Israelites.

Applications -
- Seeing, coveting, and sinning.
Notice in vss. 20-21 of the Sunday School material how seeing led to coveting which led to the sin of taking. This pattern is still working today.

Therefore, we should be careful what we look at and what we covet, so we will not get caught up in sinful actions. Some things we will have to see, but we do not have to stare or keep on looking at (e.g., an attractive person).

We should not covet anything, since God’s able to give us what He wants us to have. We will have much more control over our behavior, when we control what we focus on and how we process what we see. Let's work on our seeing, coveting, and sinning.

- Facts, discipline, and impact. Notice in vss. 22-25 of the Sunday School material that the facts were established before discipline was applied.

Because the sin in this case led to people in the community being killed, we see Achan bring deal with in public and stoned to death. Furthermore, we see how Achan's sin influenced the death of family members and destruction of stuff.

We should be careful to establish facts before applying discipline. Everything is not what it seems. The discipline should match the sin/wrong doing. And then we should be mindful of how our sins may impact our family and stuff.

Let's be mindful of establishing facts, having appropriate discipline, and remembering how sin impacts others.

- Repent now. Notice in vs. 26 of the Sunday School material that God returned His favor, after the people repented. On one hand, it is good to see that God doesn't hold a grudge. If we turn to Him, He will turn to us.

But on the other hand, the thirty six casualties are still dead. In other words, some damages of sin cannot be reversed. Let's work on dealing with our sin issues immediately, so we can experience God's blessings, instead of more casualties.

Conclusion: Let's work on our sin issues immediately. God has much for those who obey His will.

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