Tuesday, 28 June 2011

GOD RESPONDS TO DISOBEDIENCE

TOPIC:                       GOD RESPONDS TO DISOBEDIENCE
TEXT:                         JOSHUA 7:1, 10-12, 22-26.
LESSON AIM: After participating in this lesson, each student will be able to:
1. Describe Achan’s sin, its seriousness, and its punishment.
2. Cite examples of how disobeying God causes undesirable effects for many.
3. Describe a temptation that he or she struggles with and determine a course of action to live above it.
INTRODUCTION
It was a family vacation, and the father was driving as the family enjoyed the scenery of the mountains. At one point, the father changed from the secondary road to a tertiary one—that fine line on the map that indicates a road of lesser quality. Just as the car changed roads, a sign confronted them with a warning: Road Closed.
In spite of reservations by others in the car, the father went ahead. He remembered having been here before, and he was confident that he could negotiate around any obstacle. The family would be able to enjoy even more spectacular views.
Just before merging back with the first road, they came to a place where a bridge was being replaced. There was no way around. As they returned to the place where they had taken the more scenic route, they were greeted by a message with bold letters on the back of the sign that had been ignored: We told you so.
That’s humorous, but warnings regarding expected conduct are often viewed as affronts to personal liberty. Authorities are to be challenged or disregarded. Compliance is optional. We think we know better.
Respect for authority should begin in the home. But the homes of today often deliver mixed messages on expectations. The guidelines often change as children are shuffled from the home of one divorced parent to another. Children seem to understand that emotional forces are at work that will make discipline by a nonparent difficult in blended families.
Experts in family life recommend that families develop lists of expectations along with consequences for infractions. For this plan to work there must be consistency in application. If a person in authority abdicates responsibility to enforce consequences, then family dynamics deteriorate. This is a lesson that is clearly evident in the Old Testament.

1.    What are some sins today that have a broader effect than on just the one who commits them? What are some of those effects?

1.   What are some things we have among our “stuff” that needs to be discarded?
C: THE VALLEY OF ANCHOR – Joshua 7:22-26
1.   If you become aware of someone’s “secret sin,” under what circumstances (if any) should you expose that sin publicly? How should we respond when someone’s sin is exposed for all to see?
2.   If we compare this story to the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), what are the vices that are similar in the lives of the character therein?
3.   If we look at the punishment of Achan’s family, what implication does it have for believers today?
CONCLUSION:
The title of this lesson, “God Responds to Disobedience,” is true. But frequently there is a period of time between the sin and its punishment. Achan may have thought that the passing of time meant that he had escaped detection, but God knew that the sin had occurred. Sin has its wages.
The sin of David with Bathsheba is another example of a person’s thinking that he has masterfully arranged to appear innocent. David created the illusion of being compassionate in marrying the widow of a fallen solider. Instead, David had coveted another man’s wife, committed adultery, and arranged for the husband to be killed. What looked like just another military casualty actually was the culmination of sinful actions. God responded to the disobedience, although he waited several months to do so (2 Samuel 11, 12).
A caution must be expressed, however. Some tend to look on all reversals as divine judgments for sin. The example of Job proves that this may not be the case. Sometimes things just happen, and sometimes events will not be understood in this lifetime. Each Christian is to overcome through trust in God, thus being an example to others.

NEXT WEEK: JULY 10, 2011: HELP IS ON THE WAY – JOSHUA 2; 21:25

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