“And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land” (Joshua 8:1).TEXT — Joshua 8:1-10
J. Stuart Holden told the story of an old Scottish mansion close to where he had his little summer home. A pitcher of soda water was accidentally spilled on a freshly decorated wall and left an unsightly stain. Lord Landseer, an artist of great repute was a guest in the house at the time. One day, when the family went out sightseeing, he stayed behind. With a few masterful strokes of a piece of charcoal, that ugly spot became the outline of a beautiful waterfall, bordered by trees and wildlife. He turned that disfigured wall into one of his most successful depictions of highland life.
Like the disfigured wall, the nation of Israel suffered a humiliating defeat from the men of Ai. Joshua prayed and dealt with the source of their failure. The result was that God told Joshua to rise and go back to Ai. He then gave Joshua assurance of victory and the strategy to use in attacking the city. In obedience to the divine instructions, Joshua mobilised his troops, implemented the given strategy and successfully captured the city. The starting point of every victory is to rise up and move.
Joshua had many options he could have taken after Israel was defeated by the men of Ai. Even after repentance and prayers, he could have doubted if God would ever give him victory again. However, he chose to believe and obey. He chose to correct his mistakes and returned to Ai with lessons learnt and renewed vision. That is a credit to his character. God honoured His word and helped Joshua to reclaim victory where he had previously fallen.
A child of God who failed in the battlefield of life must not be ashamed to do what Joshua did. Go back and correct the mistakes that caused your failure. Whatever the missteps, God is willing to give you a chance to make up for it, and correct your ways.
Thought for the day
Return and repaint the ugly walls!
- in one year
- ECCLESIASTES 8 – 12