What Do We Do Now?: Joshua and Judah (Part 1)

(Judges 1:1-3 Pas. Baines, Jr. 1/2018)

Introduction: Have you ever found yourself wondering what do you do now (e.g., got a new job, terminated from a job, retired from a job, when children leave for college or first apartment, when starting a new year, etc.). This series gives us some principles about what to do now. In our text, after Joshua’s death, the people wondered about “what do we do now”? Through prayer, waiting, and obedience, we see Judah moving forward. This discussion centers around, “We should be mindful of death and obeying God’s will.”

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1. The death of loved ones. Notice that Hebrews 9:27 KJV teaches that we all have an appointment with death. When someone we love dies, we experience grief (i.e., a sense of deep lost, a journey of waves). If it doesn’t get better in three to six months, someone will be able to refer you to some great grief counselors and support groups.

When you avoid close relationships, so you can avoid grief, you are also missing out on the joy, wisdom, encouragement, and support that you could have, if you were less guarded. Instead of trying to live a “grief free” life, try loving all that you can, while you can, and trusting God to get you through grief, when and if it comes.

The God who took care of the Hebrew boys (see Dan. 3) can take care of you. Let’s work on loving, in spite of grief.

2. Get your house in order. Notice in II Kings 20:1 that Hezekiah was urged to get his house in order. We should have plans for paying our funeral expenses (i.e., traditional vs. cremation), distributing our assets (see Pro. 13:22), and how we want our last days spent (i.e., health care proxy and living will).

We could add relational loose ends to this list (e.g., children, siblings, friends, ex-spouses, etc.). Let’s get our houses in order.

3. Keep the work moving. Notice in Judges 1:1-3 that just as the work continued after Moses, it is now continuing after Joshua.  We should help the work continue after we are gone.

Families can have life insurance policies to fund the paying of bills and financing of dreams. Jobs and churches can have systems, polices, and procedures, instead of being dependent on the one or a handful of charismatic people on the job or in the church. And we should honor the deceased by keeping the work moving, even when loved ones are gone.

II Samuel 9:1 shows David looking for a way to honor his deceased friend Jonathan. It is a disgrace to talk about how great a former Pastor was and you have stopped serving the Lord. Let’s work on keeping the work moving.

4. Praying and waiting. Notice in Judges 1:1-2 that the people prayed and waited for the Lord to answer. When we try to conduct business without divine direction, we are often heading towards destruction (see Pro. 14:12). The majority’s agreeing doesn’t mean that God has agreed (see Num.14:10, 26-30, 40-45; Jn. 18:40).

We are at our best, when we strive to be a democratic theocracy - not “by the people, for the people” but discerning God’s will. Prayer can help us to get the Holy Spirit to bring God’s word and wisdom to our memory (see Ps. 119:105; Jn. 14:26; Jm. 1:5).

Sometimes we miss what God is saying because we are listening to too many voices or don’t like God’s answer. And sometimes we didn’t miss it, God did not speak. Here is where we need to wait on the Lord and be of good courage (see Ps. 27:13-14 KJV). Let’s work on praying and waiting on the Lord.

5. Obeying. Notice in Matthew 7:24-27 that the wise builder is the one who hears and obeys God’s word. Judah heard and obeyed God’s will. What examples do you have of hearing and obeying God’s will in your life?

Think about your stewardship of your mindset, health, wealth, relationships, and service (see Mt. 5:13-16). If you don’t like your answers, thank God that you  can repent (see I Jn. 1:9). Your sickness doesn’t have to be unto death. Make up your mind to press forward from here. Let’s obey God’s will.

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