"The elephant in the room"
Did God sanction or command a genocide?
Great resource: https://youtu.be/JqOqJlFF_eU
Sometimes there are things we come across or go through that are hard for us to understand... in those times remember who God is.
The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
God Is ABSOLUTELY God!
Introduces himself as “Yahweh! Yahweh! Elohim…” (vs 6).
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8–9 (NLT)
When I don’t understand what God is doing, or why things happen in a way that I disagree.
Ask: Does God have the right? (Yes, He is God)
Then ask: Do I trust Him? (He sees things perfectly)
“This is God’s universe, and God does things His way. You may have a better way, but you don’t have a universe.” - Vernon McGee
Rather than default to doubt… fix your faith on His Faithfulness
David reminds us…“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.” Psalm 145:17 (NIV)
2. God is ABSOLUTELY Holy!
Vs 7 God, “will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
We greatly underestimate the consequence of sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NLT)
It’s not the magnitude of the sin, it is the magnitude of the one being sinned against.
3. God is ABSOLUTELY Good!
Vs 6 “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”How long did God wait before he allowed the Canaanites to experience his judgement?
How long did God wait before He judged the sins of the Canaanites?
As the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a terrifying darkness came down over him. Then the LORD said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. (As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.” Genesis 15:12–16 (NLT)
The Canaanites were a wicked people (sexually immoral, child sacrifice) …Yet God allows over 400 years to repent.
(2 Pe 3:8–9) The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Brings us to Caleb, 4 NEVERS he would share with us today.
1. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO GO ALL IN
God’s testimony of Caleb: “…my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” Numbers 14:24 (NIV)
Said Caleb had:
- A Different Spirit
- Wholehearted Devotion
2. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE FOR GOD TO FULFILL A PROMISE
“Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years” (vs 10)
How to persevere for your promise:
The Hall of Faith - Hebrews 11
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13–16 (NIV)
- From now until death, live by faith (never a day to lose faith)
- We see it by faith before we seize it by faith (Eph 1:3)
- Don’t waste time looking back, or you’ll lose faith
- Realize you’re fighting by faith for a better future (1 Pe 1:3–5)
3. IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO DO SOMETHING NEW
So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. (11-12)
Israel wandered for 40 years because of a negative mindset
(40 years of wandering)
Caleb wondered for 40 years because of a positive mindset
(40 years of wondering)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Pr 4:23, NIV)
4) IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO LEAVE A LASTING LEGACY
Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel (vs14).
Caleb waited 45 years to take Hebron. Hebron would one day crown a king. Caleb's 40 years of waiting was the foundation for 4000 years of legacy. Suddenly, a few decades doesn't seem insignificant!
...Instead of defaulting to doubt when I don’t understand, I fixed my faith on God's faithfulness
...I went ALL IN with God
...I decided to take full possession of my promise
...I allowed God to do something radically new
...I left a legacy that changes future generations