Isn't it amazing how we can have a huge victory one day and the next day disaster strikes? What is different at these times from one day to the next? While sometimes, the difference between a victorious day and a defeated day is nothing more than circumstances out of our control, other times the answer lies in our actions. This truth can be seen between Joshua 6 and 7.
I left off the other day with Joshua leading the nation of Israel to victory over the powerful city of Jericho (Joshua 6). This was their first conquest after crossing the river Jordan into the land that God had promised them. At last, they were in the promised land. However, in the next chapter we see that Israel lost their nerve and ran from Ai. Joshua even got upset with God because of the defeat and started blaming God for what happened. So, what really happened here?
Joshua 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things, so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.
Can you see what happened? Someone, specifically Achan, disobeyed God and took some spoil from the city of Jericho, when God specifically forbade it. (Joshua 6:18). One man's disobedience reaked havoc on the whole nation because God got a little bit irritated!! Look at God's response to Joshua's cries:
10 So the Lord said to Joshua: "Get up! why do you lie thus on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. (Joshua 7:10-12 NKJV)
Can you see what happened? God's presence wasn't with Israel because of their disobedience. Clearly stated. I don't know about you, but this little passage speaks volumes to me. I wonder what things I have in my life that God doesn't want there. I wonder what "accursed things" I need to give up in order to ensure that God is with me in all that I do. Do you wonder the same things?
Again I pray for God to search my heart and show me those places I need to change. I want to do all that God has for me to do and be all for Him that He will make me to be.
Challenge: Pray this passage to God and ask Him to reveal to you areas that you need to change in order to inherit your promised land: "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting." (Psalm 139:23-24)