Friday, June 24, 2011

God Responds to Disobedience aka God Reacts to Disobedience Joshua 7:1, 10-12, 22-26; The Adult Sunday School Lesson for 7-3-11

ATTENTION:  Please note that this is The Adult Sunday School Lesson, God Responds to Disobedience aka God Reacts to Disobedience, on Joshua 7:1, 10-12, 22- 26 for the 7-03-11 International Sunday School Lesson.  You will find the 6-26-11 lesson, God Is Victorious aka God Gives Victory directly beneath this message and on the right side.


God Responds to Disobedience
God Reacts to Disobedience
Joshua 7:1, 10-12, 22-26
International Sunday School Lesson
July 3, 2011

Jed Greenough

What follows is a scripture that I pray concerning frequently.  It is my fervent prayer that though I may not understand His ways perhaps He will help me to understand His words for these lessons. 

Isaiah 55:8-11

 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   neither are your ways my ways,”
            declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
   come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
   without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
   It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

If you read the scripture found in Joshua 7 today and are troubled and if the scripture above from Isaiah 55 cannot  give you some measure of relief from that trouble than I have not accomplished a little of what I hope to do for you.

I have come to accept that I will not understand His ways in total as long as I am on this earth.  I have however accepted that those ways are best.

Last week we saw how Rahab had come to faith because of what she had heard about the Lord and she and all of her household were spared when Israel attacked Jericho.  This week we see an Israelite who was a part of those things that caused Rahab to be saved.  This Israelite named Achan sins and as a result he and his entire household are stoned to death.

One in their midst causes the rest to be saved.  One in their midst causes all to be in peril.  You may not understand God’s thoughts, but do God’s words concerning this event accomplish what He desired?

What can we see from God’s word?  In Joshua 6 we saw that the people of Israel were warned against taking any of these things themselves or they would bring about their destruction and make the whole of Israel liable as well.  God forewarned, and these verses let us know that when He speaks, He acts.  Today’s chapter 7 shows that things in fact turned out exactly as He said they would if they failed to listen to Him.

By His word He desired them to act in a certain way and by His word he desired to warn them.  But by His word one amongst them put the rest in peril.  And by His word the one who sinned and His household paid the price.

But it wasn’t just that household but also the people as a whole, all of Israel, that paid a price.  They still had the painful duty of carrying out God’s punishment.  But how does God’s word concerning this still apply to us today?  In what way does God’s word going out as the International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series Lesson accomplish His will now?

The answer to that will play itself out in your class room and in others all over the world.  In this one, The Adult Sunday School blog, I would say the following:

We likewise have received warnings and instructions.

We likewise can be in peril from those in our midst even if all the rest follow His instructions.

We can know that there are consequences for our actions and for disobedience.

We can know that God will respond to that disobedience.

We can still know that the consequences of our actions can affect not just ourselves but those close to us.

We can still know that the whole of us must carry out God’s will as instructed against those who disobey and a failure to do so will cause all to share in God’s judgment.

For Discussion:

1.     Discuss this idea that God’s anger can burn against a group because of an individual.
2.     In what ways are there individuals within your midst causing this anger and risking this punishment?
3.     Discuss the ways to combat this risk.
4.     Discuss the consequences if warnings go unheeded by those among you.
5.     What forms of action is the church of today to take?
6.     What does God want to say with His word regarding Joshua that relates to our leaders today?
7.     Discuss the consistency of God:  Last week He used Israel to bring judgment against a people and this week He uses another people to bring judgment against Israel.

7-10-11:   Listen to God’s Judges; Judges 2:11-19
7-17-11:   Use God’s Strength Judges 3:15-25, 29-30
7-24-11:   Let God Rule Judges 7:2-4, 13-15; 8:22-26a or Judges 7:2-4, 13-15; 8:22-25
7-31-11:   Return to Obedience (Return to God’s Ways) Judges 10:10-18 or Judges 10:10-18; 11:4-6, 32-33

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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