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When God's Plan is Insane

Salem Baptist Church / Pastor Kivett Hicks
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2019 6:00 am

When God's Plan is Insane

Salem Baptist Church / Pastor Kivett Hicks

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God loves every single one of us.

He always has, and he always will.

When invite now for those kids first grade all the through fifth grade you would like to go to children's church sale SBC kids and you may do so at this time. While they are being dismissed on a mission. A couple of things that let you know the suture aware of these things.

May 2 since Thursday and it is national day of prayer a day in which our country is called to pray not only for our country but it's boats in the evangelical world. We also pray for revival to take place in our churches in our homes and all throughout our country would invite you to this afternoon. Go to national Day of prayer.org national Day of prayer.org and you can see they are, how you can be involved in national Day of prayer and owner call Salem Baptist Church to prayer that day. Specifically, based off of some of the initiatives that are found there on that website.

So go to national Day of prayer.org this past Wednesday nights with a member meeting as a church in that member meeting we voted to bring Duane Carson on as a past member of the pastoral staff's official title is pastor of Christian school ministries and I'm excited about this am excited for him to join the pastor team taken. We welcome him together. His role as her head of school will remain as it has been now he just steps onto the pastoral staff of the church and I'm excited about that. Duane also the last several months Zach Busby has been our pastoral intern and yell this guy has blessed me more than you can more than you could ever know, and he is graduating from Piedmont international University this Friday night and so what if we could just think his act together for the service structure that is been a blessing to me and I am praying God, would you please keep him around Salem because he is passionate about about the Lord's passion and in loving the Lord is something to behold.

He loves our church. He loves the ministry of it and seal pray with me that God will keep him here sprinted together one more thing before you jump into a passage of Scripture, there is a man that I've got to know over the past couple of years by the name of Ed Weber. Ed is a graduate of Piedmont international University from many years ago and missionary in Thailand and this Wednesday night. I've invited him to come here to Salem to share his story is coming.

He's a missionary to Thailand is coming more to share his story of abandonment of abuse in all forms. Extreme abuse is, to share his story of how God has redeemed him from those things and how God is now using him in many of the same ways that he experienced abuse in the past is able to help those same people who have experienced like trauma he's coming this Wednesday nights. Whetstone is good beer 630 no invite all of you please come and hear his story. It is fantastic and it will leave you impacted an incredible waste. So this Wednesday night 630 please be there.

I'm excited about him coming to share with us your Bibles and go to Joshua chapter 6 Joshua chapter 6, last time we were together here in our series was two weeks ago last week for Easter week I came out of it for one Sunday but when we were together two weeks ago we look at the reason the nation of Israel spent 40 years wandering around in the wilderness outside the land of Canaan. God brought them out of the land of Egypt.

He took them to the brink of Canaan and they out of fear of what could be in that land decided to retreat in fear rather than risk in faith.

You might remember that I ask you this question will you choose to retreat in fear or risk in faith you as an individual believer. What is it going to be are you to follow through with what God calls you to do even though it may seem like it's crazy and may seem like you know what I may not survive this or are you going to run from it. Israelites chose to run from what God had called them to do. They were treated in fear and the result is that an entire generation of Israelites died off before the people enter the land of Canaan that God had promised them.

Now we get to Joshua chapter 6 Moses has died and he was a man who was faithful, and in what God had given him to do. But now God has raised up another leader God has raised up Joshua. Now many years before this event 40 years before this. Joshua was one of the guys who on the brink of deciding whether to risk in faith or retreat in fear. He was ready to go for these rated to follow God into the land of Canaan, but the hearts of the people were turned week we talked about that two weeks ago and ended up retreating in fear, but now they are on the brink once again of entering the promised land.

We find in the first few chapters of Joshua that they actually do so. They cross over the Jordan River. They get into Jericho or into Canaan. That was a get there in order to pass through the land and go where God has called them to go they get to a city that is absolutely massive. It is a huge city itself is a huge roadblock. It's a obstacle in their way back across the Jordan River and only 5 miles later they get to the city of Jericho jump right able to read all of Joshua chapter 6, so we have a good solid knowledge of of what is being said here and what is being taught was taken place in the written jump into talking about this passage of Scripture okay so Joshua chapter 6 follow along. Starting in verse one of Joshua or excuse me. Jericho was shot up inside and outside because of the people of Israel was a afraid of the people of Israel. No one know when to me. None went out and none came in and the Lord said to Joshua. See, I have given Jericho in your hand with his king and mighty men of valor shall march around the city. All the men of war going around the city once this issue.

This shall you do for six days seven pre-shall bear seven trumpets of rams horns before the art on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times in the pre-shall blow the trumpets and when they make a long blast with a ram's horn when you hear the sound the trumpet and all the people shall shout with a great shout and all the wall of the city will fall down flat in the people shall go up every one straight before him to Joshua the son of non-called the priest and said to them, take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams horns before the ark of the Lord, and he said to the people go forward march around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord and just as Joshua commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. The armed men were walking before the priests were blowing the trumpets and the rearguard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. The Joshua commanded the people, shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth until the day I tell you, shall then use yourself. So he calls the ark of the Lord to circle the city going about it once I came into the camp and spent the night in the camp. The Joshua rose early in the morning and the priest took up the ark of the Lord in the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams horns before the ark of the Lord walked on and they blew the trumpets continually in the Army and were walking before them in the rearguard was walking after the ark of the Lord while the trumpets blew continually in the second day they marched around the city once and returned it to the camp so they did for six days on the seventh day, they rose early at the dawn of day and marched around the city.

The same man in the same manner. Seven times it was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. At the seventh time when the priest had blown the trumpets. Joshua said to the people shout for the Lord has given you the city. The city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who were with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent but you keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction less. When you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it, but all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord shall go into the treasury of the Lord. So the people shouted in the trumpets were blown as soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout in the wall fell down flat so that the people went up into the city. Every man straight before him and they captured the city and they devoted all in the city to destruction. Both men and women, young and old ox and sheep and donkeys with the edge of the sword, but the two men who would pay it would spy out the land, Joshua said going to the prostitute's house and bring out from there. The woman, and all who belong to her, as you swore to her so young manhood Ben Spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belong to her and they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel and they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord Rahab the prostitute in her father's household and all who belong to her. Joshua saved the life she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent spy out Jericho Joshua laid an oath on them. At that time saying cursed before the Lord be the man who rises up and rebuilds the city Jericho at the cost of his firstborn, shall he lay its foundation at the cost of his youngest son Shelley set up its gates so the Lord was with Joshua and his fame was in all the land was pray together. Father I pray that as we work through this story we talk about it.

Father may our eyes be solely fixed on you, but would you have us gain from this father. How would we. How would you have us grow from this. How would you have us draw closer from this father as we study your word would you would you keep our minds alert. They keep our hearts soft and open to whatever it is that you got for us if we look forward to at the end of the day being to preclude being able to proclaim that there is none like you based off of what we talked about in this room today. Father, we love you. We only love you because you sent Jesus to die in our place.

Thank you for the sacrifice he made for us in Jesus name I pray, amen. Man, that was a mouthful one is a long story a good story, though, in fact, you probably heard that story many many times starting when you are of very little baby in the nursery for the stories that people just love detail because it's it's it's so far outside the realm of what is natural that it's a God story. People like telling God story. Still, I live in a in a household with four young boys five and under all of over five and under is only natural for me to have seen that Josh and the big wall veggie tales episode octane times.

I mean obscene times many many times and so upset as I read a story like this sometimes something about veggie tales, bounce around the city with slushy coming out on them from the people inside the city is that there's a good chance that since you are young you been hearing the story and probably in Sunday school.

You will talk been taught the song.

Joshua fought a battle Jericho sing in that and I realized to get in your brain and it wouldn't leave for like four days right justify the violent Jericho canals. There I move forward. I listen, it doesn't matter how many times you hear this story. I hope that when you do hear it fills you with a sense of all AWP all I hope it fills you with a sense of all the power of God that is on full display here is what we see in the story that when we when we sit, read stories such as this.

We know that the point of those stories is to show us the power and shows the character and show us the nature of God and what we should gain from this get this is a greater understanding of him and how he works. That's what we should gain from stories like this now and thinking specifically about the story about three main points that I want to share with you this morning.

Here's the first one is that God sometimes seems crazy to us. God sometimes seems crazy to us.

Don't you hear my heart and this okay I'm not being sacrilegious.

I'm not being disrespectful in any way shape or form, because when you really think about it you really think about it, according to human standards. God sometimes seems crazy. I'm just look at verses three through five you shall march around the city. All the men of war going around the city wants us you shall do for six days. One time every single day 73 shall bear the seven trumpets of ram's horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times the priest shall blow the trumpets and when they make a long blast with a ram's horn when you hear the sound of the trumpet and all the people shall shout with a great shout in the wall of the city will fall down flat and the people shall go up. Everyone straight before him. Listen, I was never in the military family members who were in the military, but I was not, but I don't have to be a general in the military to know that this battle plan is insane about that. Before this battle plan is crazy. There is no general in his right mind would ever draw the battle plan like this walk around the city.

One time for six days and then walk around the city seven times on the seventh day in the blows of trumpets yell as loud as you can. The waterfall down as it makes sense. It it it it doesn't make sense to our minds. But that's the beauty of this battle plan okay. It doesn't make sense.

According to human standards is not a bad thing.

This is the reality is the beauty of it for us. God sometimes seems crazy to us. If you really think about it. I'm pretty sure that you can think of times in your life in which God has called you to do things or lead you to do things that seem nothing short of crazy.

Nothing about God leading people to do crazy things about five men who went to the beaches of Ecuador to take the gospel to a people group who had never heard the gospel, who were absolutely violence did five men, Jim Elliott's Nate St. Roger uterine Ed McCauley P. Fleming discussed take the gospel to people who are likely to kill them and whatnot. What happens sure enough they get there. Not long after they been there. They're all killed God. Why would you do that, but seems crazy to us right okay what about this.

What about John Allen show John Allen show is last November.

He firmly believed that God was calling him to take the gospel to an unreached people group of an island in India and so he obeys and he goes, he's dropped off on the beach and immediately the people in the boat see him killed on the beach but the hostile people group that they can even retrieve his body. They couldn't go to the island to retrieve his body. Sometimes God's plan seems crazy to us march around the city for six days. One time each day, the seventh day march around seven times. Blow your horn's shouts waterfall flat you individual believer go through an apology. Do matter how crazy that is. But those episodes I just mentioned to you with Jericho and with those missionaries with what God calls us to do. Sometimes the seems crazy. Those things pale in comparison with something else that God has done this seems nothing short of crazy were coming off of Easter weekend, which is a time in which we celebrate, we remember the death and the resurrection of Jesus folks. The simple fact that God was sent his son to earth to die the way that he did is crazy to us. It doesn't make sense to our human minds and our human standards. That's just not something that you do.

No one in their right mind would send their son we sacrifice the way God sent his son, yet he did the support of the beauty of our God doesn't think like us.

He does act like us is much greater than we are God was able to to look on mankind and know without a doubt what we needed and provided for us. Love, love, what DA Carson says and talk about the omniscience of God or the own knowingness of God, and in knowing what we as humans need he wants been writing a book said if God had perceived that our greatest need was the economic he would've sent an economist.

If you perceive that our greatest need was entertainment anywhere sinister comedian or an artist got a perceive in our greatest need was political stability than he would've sent us a politician if you perceive that our greatest need was helpful. He would've sent us a doctor, but he perceive that our greatest need involved RCN RLE alienation from him our profound rebellion are death and he sent us a Savior love that folks we tend to think about things that stories such as the battle of Jericho and in the killing of missionaries and the things that God calls us to do as believers we tend to think of God sending his own son sometimes think that he is crazy when you really think about it, God is not truly crazy. He just has the ability us to see things that we cannot see other sometimes that he allow circumstances to take place any leads us to action like you Joshua and the Israelites in ways that don't make sense to us. But over time we realize he knew what he was doing all but here's the kicker. Okay, when God leads us to do something crazy. Our response is crucial, but the second point, our response is crucial. Was Joshua's response to what God told him to do with verse six and seven so Joshua the son of God called the priest and said to them, take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priest bear seven trumpets of rams horns before the ark of the Lord were seven and he said to the people go forward march around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord God commands Joshua obeys. God commands Joshua obeys.

He doesn't wait, he doesn't wonder if he heard God correctly.

He simply obey folks that response of immediate obedience is crucial is what Joshua had waited when Joshua had waited think that 40 years before this. When the people decide to listen to the opinion of 10 men who were not godly. Joshua had waited and not obeyed the net that fear would start to creep in.

Just like it did 40 years ago because the patterns Artie there. We know that this would happen okay dear would've started to creep in what had instead of risking in fear, they would've retreated in faith and in excusing incident risking in faith, they would've retreated in fear a second time. Obedience is crucial response of obedience is crucial how you think that you would've responded if you were in Joshua shoes just yourself a question how would I have responded if I was in Joshua shoes would have been in obedience risking in faith or would have been in with hesitancy, even retreating in fear. What would've been your response. Folks, we know because we can read here in Scripture how Joshua responded but you can you can give, look into this and you can see why Joshua responded responded the way, did I get to think through two ways will show you that I believe why Joshua responded the way, did, in faith, number one, Joshua was disciplined and ready for action.

Joshua was disciplined and ready for action.

Joshua in fear as he been in battle before and he knew how he was to respond when the fighting started. Disciplined himself for this moments. He also disciplined himself to listen for and obey the voice of God. He put himself in a position to learn everything he could about obeying God what that looks like by being Moses servant for so many years. He made himself available to be disciplined and and ready for action comes when God calls you to take action on his crazy plan. Are you going to be disciplined and ready and fit to follow him no matter what that means but discipline takes place way before the calling does God looks for people who are disciplined. Joshua had decades to prepare for that moment.

How are you disciplining yourself right now so you're ready when God calls your number. Secondly, God knew or should we.

Joshua knew that God would be faithful.

Joshua knew that God would be faithful.

He seen the faithfulness of God. For many many years. When the time came for Joshua to do something crazy like walk around the city for seven days in a row. He's willing to do it because he knew that God was to be faithful with his end of the bargain.

If you expect your response to be one of obedience. When God calls these two things had better be a part of your life. You've got to be disciplined.

You've got to be ready for action, and you've got to know without a doubt that God is to be faithful to carry you where he promised he would carry you if he calls you. He's very faithful to take you where he said to take you if you think about this missionaries I mentioned before, who had given their lives for God's crazy plan, you would recognize that each one of those had those same two qualities that Joshua had. They were discipline and ready for action, and they were they. They knew the guy was very faithful no matter what that meant the trusted God's faithfulness. But here's the third point that I want to pull from the story of Joshua and Jericho. I think Joshua truly knew something deep down in his heart that every single one of us need to remember today, and here it is we are fighting from victory not for it.

We are fighting from victory not for it. The promises given from God to Joshua in verse two and the Lord said to Joshua. See, I have given Jericho into your hand with its king, and mighty men of valor, is a promise is a promise that if you look at in the tents of the Hebrew verb. There is prophetic perfect because I have given even though you say and I have given describing a future action as if it was already accomplished. Since God had declared it with his mouth. It was going to happen. God had declared I have given Josh was fighting from victory not for its amount.

Verse 20. We further see this so the people shouted the trumpets were blown and as soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout in the wall fell down flat to the people went up into the city. Every man straight before him.

The captured the city folks, this wasn't even a battle conflict. It wasn't even about. It was a fight that was over with before it even got started. These people were fighting from victory to victory to God given them. They were not fighting for victory Fox's idea of fighting from victory and not for it. Sound familiar to you. If you're a believer here today your follower of Jesus than that is your story. You are fighting from the victory that's already been given to you.

You're not fighting for the victory. That's every single one of us who are Christians who are believers are followers of Jesus. My wife Hillary is a incredible writer. Sometimes I read what she writes neck and wonder why the rush is not writing my sermons and health of seller this week about what I'm talking about here in on Sunday morning and she said yes.

The similar to something I wrote some time ago. So what can I read it and so she sent to me and I want to spend a few moments reading you this article that she wrote here it is. I was watching Josh in the big wall there's that reference again vegetative watching Josh in the big wall with my kids this week and something struck me in such a way as to shift my perspective in the story of Joshua in the battle Jericho one thing immediately stands out in Joshua chapter 6 verse two it says in the Lord said to Joshua.

See, I have given Jericho into your hand with its king and its mighty men of valor, the Lord spoke these words to Joshua before the wall of Jericho had fallen before they were actually triumphant. The Lord was telling Joshua.

I've been before you. I go before you and I have delivered the city to you. Not only did Joshua know that Victoria's outcome was on the brink of the playbook for housing happen the instructions they received were to walk around the city wants every day for six days, not saying a word on the seventh day they were to walk in seven times and after the seventh time the priest would give a loud blow their horns and the people were to shout shout victoriously, one has to wonder the people of Jericho think the Israelites were crazy. They were probably mocked and threatened.

Perhaps Israelites themselves called he was getting to them by the seventh day. Were they exhausted at some of them lost faith that they still have hope is the seventh day drew to a close, and Joshua led them around the city, not wants, as they had done. But seven times, there came a great blast from the horns of the priest and the people gave mighty shouts. She quotes here. Verse 20. So the people shouted the trumpets were blown as soon as the people heard the sound the trumpet the people shouted a great shout in the wall fell down flat to the people went up into the city.

Every man straight before him and they captured the city.

She continues. Picture this with me they had already been promised victory by God through Joshua get for six days. They had they had done something that seemed ridiculous and futile. Add to that the fact that they been wandering in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience.

How many had already lost faith in this moment, with the blazing sun blinding shimmering hot sand your sweaty, dusty and dirty. Your muscles ache because you've marched all day. You got a headache you're dehydrated on hungry your legs are so tired you can hardly stand and you're wondering where your strength is to come from.

If you have to face the battle you got grid in your mouth and your throat is dry.

The sound of crunching gravel and sand is just a buzzing in your ears by now because that's all you heard all day. But then all of a sudden it's silent. No more marching just the sound changes enough to stand the hair up on the back of your neck. There's anticipation in the air. You know what comes next blast and in a shout. You knew what you were supposed to do.

But your heart wavers could it really happen was Joshua right. The trumpet splits the air in Joshua's voice is clear, strong and unwavering in calling his army to action in the shout for some of them if they even shouted at first that.

Did they believe that their shout would do anything. Perhaps cynicism and disbelief by the seventh day had overcome their hearts, they might've started with a small shallow voice. Or maybe they need a shot at all embarrassed waiting see what happened but as soon as they heard the crumbling of the walls, something changed with the breath being momentarily sucked out of their lungs, then rushing back in with such force replaced with an intensity and urgency. They didn't understand the shout grew louder than we can even imagine for some of them did they shout purely out of anger and frustration why God, why have you not given us the promise land that we wanted for 40 years. Why have we been so miserable for others, maybe shouted out a confession looking for redemption.

I know I know Lord we disobeyed. We chose not to follow you. If only, if only perhaps there were those who never lost faith, they shouted, with all their might, running, screaming, pleading with those around them to lift their voice and watch what God or deliver do with her was a cry of forgiveness for forgiveness and redemption. A cry of anger and expression of misunderstood frustration. Or perhaps they chapter they shouted just simply because their leader said to regardless chances are none of them ended that day, the same as they were when they started at the end of that day they knew felt full well that the Lord had triumphantly gone before them and that Joshua was continually reminding them of God's word. See, I have given Jericho into your hand with its king, and mighty men of valor. She continues, you may not be facing a city wall and army waiting to attack but there are walls around our hearts and the hearts of our children and enemies are hiding all around to attack and lead astray.

Keep believing the word of the Lord. First Corinthians chapter 15 oh death where is your victory over death, where is your sting.

The sting of death is sin, the power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Nessie and what she has written. There ladies and gentlemen we are fighting the battle of this life from the victory that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not for it that versus there on the screen. Therefore, excuse me but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. You know how he's done that do know how he did that he did that by sending his son Jesus to earth to die a death that he didn't deserve to die in our place and all that he says in return is that we surrender our lives to him. We repent of our sins we turn away from our sin and we follow him and what we do that we have victory already read the end of the book, read the end of the Bible, right last chapter, the Bible, Revelation, you will see the victory that we have through Jesus we fight from victory not four-inch the battles argument one for us. If your believer your follower of Jesus, your victory is secure.

God wins. God wins in the middle of this battle called life is exactly what worry and read a battle called life were given instructions right here in verse previous chapter 15 that are modeled for us already in the book of Joshua. Joshua chapter 6 is the What Took Pl. in Joshua chapter 6 was Joshua and the people were simply faithful to what God called them to do and God took care of the victory. Same thing we see right here in first grade. This chapter 15 therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

So we do, knowing that the victory is already been one for us. What we do we remain faithful to what God has called us to do not know what you brought into this room with you today on the lookout burden you've got to know if you're exhausted from trying to live a life of holiness. You're just tired of inserting so much as been serving God so much that at this point you're wondering is all of this even worth it. Your sick and tired of fighting this battle or that battle but that's how you and remind you this morning that if you are in Christ you have surrendered to him. You're his you're God's child, you are fighting from victory that's already there. You're not fighting for the victory. Tried so hard adjustably.

Be faithful just be faithful to what God called you to do, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Folks, we can trust God evenly seems crazy to human standards. What he got my be calling you to do is crazy. You can trust God how responsive obedience is crucial. Faithfulness is crucial, but folks never ever ever ever ever ever forget that we are fighting from victory not for it to pray with me, or God, we come to you in this moment, and we proclaim the truth that there is no God like you. There is no God like you father the fact that you would send your son to earth to die for us for this seems crazy to us, but in that father you show the law that you've got for us. Thank you for that. Father, we know that sometimes life gets difficult and we always understand why you're leaving us to go a certain direction or why you are are are are calling us to something we always understand why you act in one way or another. Why Lord difficulties just come up father, may we never ever take our eyes off of the fact that we are fighting this life. This this battle called life from victory. The comes from Jesus Christ, not for it.

Father would you help us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain.

If we know without a doubt that you are sovereign and there's become a day in which everything that we didn't fully understand before will be made completely clear and we will see all things as you would have had you as you would have us see them.

We love you, father in Jesus name I pray


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