Joshua and Judges: Hidden sin causes failure to execute the will of God, Jos 7:1; Eze 8:1-13; 14:4-5.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: Hidden sin causes failure to execute the will of God, JOS 7:1; EZE 8:1-13; 14:4-5.


Announcements / opening prayer:



JOS 7:1 But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.


At Jericho the Lord had made known to the Canaanites His great and holy name; but before Ai the Israelites were to learn that He would also sanctify Himself on them if they transgressed His covenant, and that the congregation of the Lord could only conquer the power of the world so long as it was faithful to His covenant.


It's the same for us, though we are not under the Mosaic covenant. When we are outside of God's plan for our lives we are powerless to the influences of the world and so during that time without fellowship or communion with God we are not walking as conquerors.


If we harbor inordinate love of other things than of God then we will not be able to execute the plan of God for our lives. We must expose our whole heart to God - weaknesses and all.


DEU 27:15

'Cursed is the man who makes an idol or a molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.'


PSA 44:20-21

If we had forgotten the name of our God,

Or extended our hands to a strange god;

Would not God find this out?

For He knows the secrets of the heart.


JER 23:24

"Can a man hide himself in hiding places,

So I do not see him?" declares the Lord.

"Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?" declares the Lord.


EZE 8:1 And it came about in the sixth year, on the fifth day of the sixth month, as I was sitting in my house with the elders of Judah sitting before me, that the hand of the Lord God fell on me there.


EZE 8:2 Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of glowing metal.


EZE 8:3 And He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located.


EZE 8:4 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, like the appearance which I saw in the plain.


EZE 8:5 Then He said to me, "Son of man, raise your eyes, now, toward the north." So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this idol of jealousy at the entrance.


EZE 8:6 And He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, that I should be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater abominations."


EZE 8:7 Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall.


EZE 8:8 And He said to me, "Son of man, now dig through the wall." So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance.


EZE 8:9 And He said to me, "Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here."


EZE 8:10 So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around.


EZE 8:11 And standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his censer in his hand, and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising.


EZE 8:12 Then He said to me, "Son of man, do you see what the elders of the house of Israel are committing in the dark, each man in the room of his carved images? For they say, 'The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.'"


EZE 8:13 And He said to me, "Yet you will see still greater abominations which they are committing."


The Israelites who have a strong desire for idol worship and the rites and ceremonies that go with it should openly acknowledge this to God and ask for His help, searching His word, offering the proper sacrifices, so that they may find the solutions that the Lord promised He had given them.


EZE 14:4 "Therefore speak to them and tell them, 'Thus says the Lord God," Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the Lord will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols,


EZE 14:5 in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols."'


I have never met a person who hasn't experienced a recurring dream in which they are fearfully exposed. The dream where you are a kid at school and notice that you forgot to wear your pants. When I was a teacher I had similar dreams from time to time, no pants, no lesson plan, really late, and now, though not often, I have a dream in which it's one minute to seven and I don't have a lesson to teach or I'm fully unprepared. What are these dreams about? We all fear being exposed, being found out, to be discovered as an impostor, you're really not a good man or woman, you're a fake.


Without fully exposing your heart to God, a heart that He sees from His omniscience, you will always be somewhat timid, fearful, and somewhat acting.


You can't invite God to heal the wounds of your soul from a distance. You can't say to God, "Heal the scars of my heart and set me free from bondage," while you remain far from it. You have to go there with Him and you have to acknowledge the truth of yourself with Him. There is no sense in hiding it from Him. Bear all of it and in prayer before Him ask Him to help you see these things and let His oil soften and heal them. We are to abide in the vine and not hide from Him.


When you meet most people, you are not actually meeting them, but a façade that they have cleverly constructed over the years. Very young children don't do this; what you see is what you get, but as fears and doubts rise in their hearts over the years they weave a cocoon around themselves that they present to the world, but it's just a mask - an act.


Though God sees all out heart, our cooperation in this is vital if we are going to become the person that God desires.


2TI 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.


What a great combination: power and love. It reminds me of the warrior poet term used at the end of the movie Braveheart:


"In the Year of our Lord 1314, patriots of Scotland - starving and outnumbered - charged the fields of Bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets; they fought like Scotsmen, and won their freedom." -William Wallace, Braveheart


This was a significant battle in the war for Scottish independence where the English outnumbered them two to one.


And isn't that what Christ is, a warrior poet? He is fierce and powerful, but at the same time He is merciful, gracious and love. A warrior and the writer of Psalms.


God's plan always has a level of risk to it since it is a life of trust and faith. God's plan for us is not a life of killing time until it kills us.


In his book Citizen Soldiers Steven Ambrose records how the Allies won the war from the beaches of Normandy on to the defeat of Germany. This particular event happened the day after D-Day, June 7, 1944.


"Brig. Gen. Norman "Dutch" Cota, assistant division commander of the 29th, came on a group of infantry pinned down by some Germans in a farmhouse. He asked the captain in command why his men were making no effort to take the building. "Sir, the Germans are in there, shooting at us," the captain replied. "Well, I'll tell you what, captain," said Cota, unbuckling two grenades from his jacket. "You and your men start shooting at them. I'll take a squad of men and you and your men watch carefully. I'll show you how to take a house with German's in it." Cota led his squad around a hedge to get as close as possible to the house. Suddenly, he gave a whoop and raced forward, the squad following, yelling like wild men. As they tossed grenades into the windows, Cota and another man kicked in the front door, tossed a couple of grenades inside, waited for the explosions, then dashed into the house. The surviving Germans inside were streaming out the back door, running for their lives. Cota returned to the captain. ."You've seen how to take a house," said the general still out of breath. "Do you understand? Do you know how to do it now?" "Yes, sir."


Our General, Jesus Christ, showed us how to be conquerors in the war that we are in. Many Christians are simply trying to get God to make their lives easier. The ask God, "Why did You let this happen to me?" Or, "God why won't You just (fill in the blank - help me succeed, straighten out my kids, fix my marriage, etc. Whatever they've been whining about)." And many pastors and churches are taking advantage of this ignorance of reality and are selling certain formulas that they promise will do just that.


God's journey for each of us is wrought with trial, temptation, heartache, suffering, risk as well as mundanity and exhilaration, and He is initiating each of us into victory and overcoming all of it.


John Eldredge in his book Wild at Heart describes a pivotal moment in his life as a young man growing up on a ranch in eastern Oregon. He describes a day when his father and he had just come in from working on the ranch for some sweet tea and his father walked over to the window and looked out over the large alfalfa field. A steer had gotten out of the range and into the alfalfa. John knew from his grandfather that it is dangerous for a cow to stuff itself on fresh alfalfa; it expands in their stomach like rising bread and could rupture one of their four chambers. He writes, "Pop was clearly irritated, as only a cowboy can be irritated at cattle. John on the other hand was excited. This meant adventure. "Go saddle up Tony and get that steer," Pop said, sitting  back in his chair and kicking his boots up on the one in front of him. His demeanor made it clear that he was not going with me, he was, in fact, not going anywhere. As he poured himself another glass of tea my mind raced through the implications of what he'd said. It meant I first had to go catch Tony, the biggest horse on the ranch. I was scared of Tony, but we both knew he was the best cattle horse. I had to saddle him up by myself and ride out to get that steer. Alone. Having processed this information I realized I had been standing there for who knows how long and it was time I got going. I knew I'd crossed a threshold in my life as a young man. Pop believed in me, and whatever he saw, I did not, the fact that he believed made me believe it too. I got the steer that day … and a whole lot more.


It is obvious from the commands of God's word that He trusts us to do His will.


JOH 14:12

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.


Christ, in the form of the ark of the covenant, when He marched in the midst of His people, faithfully carrying out His commands, struck fear into the heart of the enemy. He is in you with sword drawn and when we walk with Him, the enemy, Satan and the KOD fears us. Of course they're shooting at us. What did we expect in the midst of war? But with Christ we overwhelmingly conquer. Open your weakness and fears to Him and let Him heal them fully.


God is going to fashion circumstances so that the scars, weaknesses, and fears of your heart will be brought to the surface, to the forefront of your consciousness so that you will be forced to deal with them or attempt to rebury them. He does this because He wants to set us free. The process isn't fun but it is the only way to true happiness. Do not judge the weaknesses, fears, and scars of another believer when they come to the surface and to your attention, God is graciously working on them.


Adam and the woman tried to hide their sin, but God drew it out like puss from a wound. There is no reason to hide anything from God. God wants it exposed to Him (and only to Him) so that you and He can deal with it.


Sometimes God uses the image of oil softening a wound or a scar. Our souls are wounded and scarred. By exposing them to God's oil, His Spirit, He softens and heals the heart.


God's description of the condition of man.


ISA 1:6

From the sole of the foot even to the head

There is nothing sound in it,

Only bruises, welts, and raw wounds,

Not pressed out or bandaged,

Nor softened with oil.


ISA 61:2-3

To comfort all who mourn,

To grant those who mourn in Zion,

Giving them a garland instead of ashes,

The oil of gladness instead of mourning,

The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.

So they will be called oaks of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.


JOS 7:1 But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.


Achan's breach of trust is described as unfaithfulness. He withheld what was sanctified unto the Lord.