WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

 

            Shortly after Joshua had taken over the leadership of Israel, he was standing by the Jordan River just opposite Jericho:

 

Joshua 5:13  13And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, art thou for us, or for our adversaries?”

 

            Joshua wanted to establish whether this man was on Israel’s side, or an enemy of God’s people.  He needed to know whether the man represented a threat, or could he be counted on to help.  The possibility that he was neutral was not considered because he came with a drawn sword, a weapon of war.  As it turned out, he was captain of the hosts of God and was there to assist Israel in their conquest of the land promised.

            Following the episode, when Aaron and Israel had made the golden calf and Israel had worshipped it we find Moses speaking to the Israelite nation:

 

Exodus 32:26Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto hiM.”

 

Moses needed to know whom he could depend upon to stand up for what was right.  The difference between those who wanted to worship the Egyptian idol and those who were still loyal to the Lord, God, Jehovah needed to be known, which brings us to the point of this lesson:

            Christian, can the world tell that you are on the Lord’s side?  The Lord needs more than ever bold men who declare themselves.  He needs folks about whom there can be no doubt that they stand with Him.  Too many of those who consider themselves Christians are dabbling in the world’s ways, partaking in the customs and habits of the world’s sinful people.  As a consequence, the difference between the people of God and the people of the world become blurred.

            Some of those who have declared themselves to be Christians and on the Lord’s side are not following through in living the Christian life as they should:

 

(1)  They talk like the world:  The world takes God’s name in vain because they have no respect for him.  They either do not know:

 

Exodus 20:7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

 

Colossians 3:8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

 

Hebrews 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

 

What is heart rending is to hear a member of the church taking His name in vain.  They sound just like the worldly people.  Whose side are they on?  Even many of those in the world refuse to talk like that.  In fact, where I work, I hear very little of this kind of language so it would be doubly obvious if I chose to use the words of the world.

 

2.)They dress like the world:  It is common for the world’s crowd to dress (or undress) in garments too brief, too short, too low, too thin.  They serve other gods, gods of pleasure, self, popularity.  They declare readily for all to see whose side they are on simply by what they wear.  But what about you, my Christian friend, how is your dress?  God is concerned about how his children dress; he told the Israelites

 

Deuteronomy 22:5  The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

 

The Holy Spirit through the pen of the Apostle Paul tells us that He is still concerned about how his children dress:

 

I Timothy 2:9-10 “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;  10But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”

 

The Apostle Peter gives us a lesson is the kind of example that we should be; Read I Peter 3:3-9.

 

3.) They frequent the world’s favorite spots.  The world has it’s “spots”, gambling casinos, nightclubs, public swimming pools, etc.  How inconsistent is it when we, known to our friends and neighbors as Christians are seen going into places that perhaps even they would not go.  What do we find in the world’s favorite spots?  We find the wrong kind of company, temptation, sin and unrighteousness.  God is also concerned about the kind of company we keep.  Just like Lot:

 

Genesis 19:15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

 

Psalms 1:1-31Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

 

            The Lord wants people who are decisive.  They make up their minds to follow him and try their best to live it.  The Lord wants people who are loyal and consistent, that can be depended upon.  How about you, whose side are you on?  Have you made a declaration by becoming a child of God or are you still waiting.  Are you a child of God that has strayed into some of the bad habits of the world?  Whatever your need please come as we stand and sing.