For it was the LORD's doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:20 ESV)
To go to battle against Israel was foolish. What continually compelled these individuals to believe they could fight against God and his people? When you’re inside the double walled city of Jericho, and you hear about the 10 plagues of Egypt, and you hear about the crossing of the Red Sea, and you hear about the crossing of the Jordan River, we know the hearts of those inside of the city of Jericho, because the text tells us that their hearts melted inside of their chests - they were terrified, yet what was their response? To still trust in the double walled city of Jericho. 1 person, Rahab, called out for mercy from God, and she gladly and freely received it. One.
So why did the nations of Canaan, why did these little city states, why did they continue to think that they could fight against God? Because God let them think that. Because God hardened their hearts, because God allowed them in their stubborn rejection of him, to not be recipients of his grace.
If God is still convicting you of sin, praise his holy name. Because when he stops, you are in a dangerous, dangerous place.
There is only two types of people here this morning: Those that are here to hear from God’s Word, and when God’s word is preached, they respond to it in obedience. And those that layer by layer by layer, are being hardened every single Sunday, more and more to the call of God in their lives.
I hear individuals come up to me after the service, I hear them throughout the week talk to me about how the word is convicting them and how they’re changing, and that thrills me. And I want to change daily by God’s word as well. And yet I know that there are people that come here every single Sunday and it’s like an inoculation. What is a vaccination? It gives you a little bit of the disease, so that the disease itself never fully affects you. What does God’s word do to those who are stubbornly rejecting him? They have just enough that it stops it from having its full effect.
If you have not been convicted by the word of God in a while, you ought to tremble in fear. Because God is the one who gives you grace. And when he removes that from you, What does the text in verse 20 say? God did not come and make these individuals sin, don’t misread the text. He just let them have sin to its fullest extent in their lives. They should receive no mercy, but be destroyed.
What did God do with the heart of pharaoh? The 10 plagues: Pharaoh hardened his heart. How do you see the hand of God, turn water into blood, and the frogs, and the flies and the darkness. How do you see all of that, and in the face of that not believe? Because God takes his grace. And what does he say in Romans 1: He gave them over to a reprobate mind. In our natural state, every single one of us, want to run as fast as we can to do as much sin as we can, because we are sinners. And the only thing that stops us from going over the cliff is the grace of God. So if he is convicting you, thank him here this morning. Because if he is not, you are in deep deep trouble.
Beware. Beware a lack of concern over sin and rebellion. If you can sin and it doesn’t bother you, that should bother you. If you can rebel against God and there’s nothing - there’s no repentance, there’s no remorse? The OT calls it sinning with a high hand. To sin in open challenging and rebellion against God. Who are you? Do you think you can stand before this God? The one true God who spoke all things into existence including you? Who at this moment holds in his hand your next breath? And yet Sunday in and Sunday out there are individuals who come into this auditorium and they sit here and all the word of God does is put one more layer on top of the hardened heart. I pray to God weekly that He, as only He can, would break through and start convicting hearts.
So there are two types of people here this morning: Those that are going to hear the message of God and respond to it in obedience, and those that have one more message that has hardened them for another week.
So how do we endure? As long as God is speaking, there is opportunity to listen. Do not despise the voice of God. Do not despise the disciplining hand of God in your life. Because if he is still speaking to you, you still have opportunity to listen.
But the time is coming and you do not know when that is, when there may not be opportunity for repentance. And it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of this God.
This is a transcript (prepared by Kaleb Pilkey) of a part of a sermon preached at Grace Baptist on July 10, 2016. For a video of the full sermon, click here. To watch more services from Grace Baptist, please subscribe to our channel- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyu-6i4AncIHoNeRCbjfyGA.