For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel.
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai.
And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.”
So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai,
and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads.
And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan!
O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies!
For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”
The LORD said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?
Israel has sinned;
When God says ‘give all’ we do well to do just that. One man’s disobedience brought death to thirty-six of his people in a battle that cost Israel their confidence and pride. We cannot play around with the sin that the Spirit of God has shown to us with the prompt to rid ourselves of it. When judgment comes we should then look to our own ways to see what we have held back.
Joshua did not know what Achen had done; he believed all of Israel had obeyed God’s commands. His first impulse was to question God. How often do we do the same? We say God allowed this to happen, or God must have a lesson in this for us… Joshua knew God; he mentored under Moses and yet he fell to the same place we all tend to in questioning God why He didn’t fight for us. Better to ask God, what have we done? Or what have we not done? Forget the cop-outs of “God allowed this to happen for a reason” – sure did and the reason may be in our own disobedience.
It is good to ask; why do we always assume God let stuff happen before we do a thorough searching of our own state. Let us say with the psalmist; “Search me O God and know my thoughts I pray, see if there be a wicked way in me.”
[Psalm139:23-24 KJV] 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
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