After the death of Moses, Joshua lead the children of Israel across the Jordan river and into the promised land. It was here, under his leadership that they experienced the sweet taste of victory with very few defeats. The book of Joshua relates to us the victory at Jericho and the defeat at Ai. The sin of Achan and the deception of the Gibeonites. As we enter the last chapter of the book we find that Joshua is issuing a challenge to Israel. We see the ever-famed verse Joshua 24:15 “ And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” and then we see the response of the people. “And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.” (Joshua 24:16-18) a little further on we find that Joshua issues a command to accompany his challenge. “Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the LORD God of Israel.” (Joshua 24:23) Again we see the response of the people. “ And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” (Joshua 24:24) Joshua then makes a covenant with Israel and sets up a memorial by which they can remember their commitment.
Pastor Tyler Griggs
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
There are many important tools to use when putting together a sermon. I am convinced that among the chief of these tools is a dictionary, especially a Webster's 1828 Dictionary, which I use regularly. Let me share three reasons with you as to why the use of a dictionary is important in delivering a sermon as a preacher.
1. Defining Unknown Words. We all run across words in our Bible reading that we don't know the meaning of. Now, we can simply skip over those words or we can use a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word. An example of just such a word that I didn't know the meaning of was the word IMPORTUNITY found in Luke 11:8. I came to find that the word meant pressing solicitation or an urgent request. Another definition I found was persistence to the point of annoyance. I was able to take that meaning and put together a sermon on us being persistent with our prayers to God and entitled the sermon "Do You Annoy God?”. Had I not known the definition of the word importunity I wouldn't have fully understood the truth presented in this passage nor would I have been able to compile it properly for deliverance in a sermon.
2. Things You Don't Know About The Words. There are words that we know the meaning of or at least what the word is. Yet, there are times when there are words that if we would look them up, we can find something else that we may not have known. An example is the word STILL. In Psalms 46:10 the phrase "Be still" is used and other such phrases are used throughout the Bible. Now we've all heard a parent say to a child, “Be still” and usually that means to stop moving and stay in one place. I learned from defining the word that it not only means to be still in a physical sense but also in a mental sense in our minds and emotions. He was saying not to just be still on the outside but even more on the inside with our emotions and mindset.
3. To Properly Preach God's Word. There have been a few times in my life when I have been sitting in a service listening to the preaching and noticed that the preacher used a word in a way that is not in context with its definition. They would direct the whole sermon off of that word or what they thought that word meant, when in reality, the word didn't mean that at all. When this happens, the people misinformed and it is generally a sign of preacher who hasn’t studied
In conclusion, get a good dictionary to aid you in your Bible study so you can gain knowledge about the Words of God and so that you needeth not to be ashamed. Somebody Say Amen!
Dr. C.H. Spurgeon
The following are the closing statements of a lecture delivered by Dr. C.H.Spurgeon entitled “The Minister’s Self-Watch”
Even in little things the minister should take care that his life is consistent
with his ministry. He should be especially careful never to fall short of his
word. This should be pushed even to scrupulosity; We cannot be too
careful; truth must not only be in us, but shine from us. A celebrated doctor
of divinity in London, who is now in heaven I have no doubt — a very
excellent and godly man — gave notice one Sunday that he intended to
visit all his people, and said, that in order to be able to get round and visit
them and their families once in the year, he should take all the seatholders
in order. A person well known to me, who was then a poor man, was
delighted with the idea that the minister was coming to his house to see
him, and about a week or two before he conceived it would be his turn, his
wife was very careful to sweep the hearth and keep the house tidy, and the
man ran home early from work, hoping each night to find the doctor there.
This went on for a considerable time. He either forgot his promise, or grew
weary in performing it, or for some other reason never went to this poor
man’s house, and the result was this, the man lost confidence in all
preachers, and said, “They care for the rich, but they do not care for us
who are poor.” That man never settled down to any one place of worship
for many years, till at last he dropped into Exeter Hall and remained my
hearer for years till providence removed him. It was no small task to make
him believe that any minister could be an honest man, and could impartially
love both rich and poor. Let us avoid doing such mischief, by being very
particular as to our word.
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley