Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sermon Idea Number - 17 -

Suggested Titles:

As for our houses
Are we honest enough to serve
Honest to God!

Passage:

Joshua 24

Passage Overview – some highlights:

Moses called the people to recommitment, to covenant, before his death reminding them to “choose life.” (See Sermon on Deuteronomy 30), and here Joshua does the same. For each generation there is a need to renew covenant and become again God’s people. Joshua insures that he declares to the people truthfully who God is – that there are commitments at stake and a price to be paid for allegiance. It is not cheap or easy to follow God, but it is the way of life.

Important Specific Concepts:

Note how this story begins with remember who God has been. Oftentimes we need to remember the faithfulness of God in the past as we consider our future and here Joshua reminds them of God’s faithfulness.

While the word is not used here as it has been used in other passages, this is another “consecration passage” in Joshua. The idea of consecration and the need to do it over and over again is important in this book.

This passage recognizes that there ARE other options – either their gods, or their gods – or, the God. The same seems to be true in our lives as well. We all recognize that options exist for faith, but this God is the one who has been faithful.

When the people respond to Joshua, interestingly they reply that it was the Lord who brought “us” up. This is interesting because technically they should have said some thing like, “It was the Lord who brought our ancestors up . . . .” In this “testimonial statement” then, the Israelite people recognize that who God has been in the past to their ancestors is who God is to them. What God has done for “our ancestors” he’s done for us. They have, in this sense, owned the religious heritage of their ancestors . . . perhaps because of those stones at the Jordan (see Sermon on Joshua 3-4).

This text is honest – honest about demands and expectations of allegiance, honest about what it takes, honest about owning up to those expectations. No one there could have participated and after the fact said, “Well I didn’t know that!”

Joshua sets up stones yet again, and while not explicit, they remain for future generations about the commitment of this generation.

Ideas for Illustrations:

Any “legal deal” where papers are signed and commitments kept – marriage, land/home purchase.

The day the President is “sworn in” as an example of owning commitments and swearing to uphold, in that case, the Constitution of the United States.

Ideas for Wrapping Up - Response - Call:

Obviously, this passage is a call for us to acknowledge and covenant with God.
Not just with them, but with we who are gathered here today, God has done these things.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Dennis Knight said...

A title that might be used is:

Commitment Equals Conviction

Build upon the idea that God is still looking for people who will make a commitment to Him. When we make a commitment, we will have convictions. Convictions are something that we're willing to die for; everything else is just an opinion.

7:36 PM  

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