“Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you” (Joshua 7:13).TEXT — Joshua 7:1-13
Stephen M. Miller in his book, The Complete Guide to the Bible, says, “Right after wiping Jericho off the map, the seemingly unstoppable Israelites were stopped by a tiny contingent of militia, from a tiny town, with a tiny name: Ai.”
Today’s passage reveals how one man’s sin caused the defeat of a whole nation through a very small and seemingly insignificant people. Before then, Israel had defeated Jericho, a very powerful nation with very tall and fortified walls. God had given them the instructions not to take to themselves anything unapproved by Him. But unknown to Joshua and other leaders, Achan had taken some booty out of the city and hidden them in his tent. Joshua and the elders, without consulting God, launched a battle against Ai with a small number of troops. They were stunningly defeated. They prayed and wept before the Lord to know the reasons for this set back. In answer to their prayers, God revealed to them that someone had brought accursed things into the camp, forcing Him to withdraw from them.
When God withdraws from the life of an individual, family, church or nation, the problems that would ensue may include death. For example, some of the soldiers of Israel were killed. When God withdraws, Satan will inevitably take over. Until the source of the problems is identified and removed, the defeat will persist.
Joshua did not sit on the fence and blame God or the people. He identified the problem and then prayed. He dealt with the cause of the sin and received directives from God on how to be restored to full fellowship with Him. Do you sense God’s withdrawal? Then you must search your life to find out what went wrong.
Thought for the day
The more distance you maintain from God, the nearer you are to the devil.
- in one year
- ACTS 15-17 (Read By Alexander Scourby)