Joshua 7 - Sin and Judgement

Joshua 7:1-9 - Joshua's reaction in verses 6-9 seems a little odd. I mean, they just saw the Jordan divided so that hey could pass through and Jericho fall with little effort on their part. God was with them, clearly, for they couldn't do the things that they'd seen done. So why the wailing and even accusations of God not caring for them?

Well, look a little deeper behind their actions. At the Jordan and at Jericho, they were humble, following God's plan to the letter. But we find that after God came through, one of them, Achan, went against God's plan and took some of the things for himself. God's ideas of care for them were no longer good enough for him, he took what did not belong to him. Also, notice how nonchalant they are about going against Ai. "It'll be easy, only send a few thousand. No problem." Also notice, no mention of how god wanted it done.

Flush from victory, a victory made absolutely and completely by God, they are suddenly confident in themselves. Never mind that there's absolutely no way they can claim any sort of credit for what happened at Jericho - they marched and blew trumpets. Still, now they feel they can do whatever, and they march off to Ai on their own terms, and pay for it.

I do this. Confident that I know what God wants and in my abilities, I live on my own terms. I fail to study much, fail to pray much and generally skate along, convincing myself that I'm doing fine. I forget that I've never done fine, God has done fine - and far more - by me and through me, but only when I've submitted to His authority and plan. Skating along by what I believe to already know, doesn't accomplish much. At best it keeps me out of big trouble, but even that isn't guaranteed. Accomplishing anything for God? Living my life as an offering for what he's already done in me? Hardly.

Joshua 7:10-12 - I love this rebuke from God. "Dude, what is your problem? Quit whining, somebody sinned, until it's dealt with nothing's going to work for you." I need to remember this - when I'm in the situation above, I think I need to hang my head and mourn properly. God's like, just deal with your sin, OK?

The scary part is the end of verse 12 - "I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you." So, am I willing to destroy those things in me that are devoted to destruction? Oh, Lord, make my sin as real and serious to me as it is to you.

Joshua 7:16-21 - I have to wonder, was Achan not aware that it was he they were looking for? Did he think that he would not be discovered? Why didn't he step forward?

Joshua 7:22-26 - This is one of the hardest scenes in the Bible to imagine - especially the sons and daughters. My mind cries out against this, why the children too? I cannot defend God in this, but neither will I accuse him either. His ways are higher than mine and just because I cannot fathom the reasons, doesn't mean they do not exist. In the very least, we can say that sin and disobedience is a serious thing and its effects go beyond ourselves, though we frequently cannot see it. My sin surely effects my children, a sobering thought indeed.

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