Bible Reference: Joshua 7:10-12
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)
Bible Text: 10 Get up. What are you doing in the dirt? 11 There’s a simple explanation: Israel has sinned. They have lied and have violated the covenant I gave them by stealing some of the property that should have been destroyed along with the rest of Jericho and by hiding it among their own belongings.
12 That is why the Israelites can no longer resist their enemies. They run from their foes because they are under a curse and doomed to destruction. I will not be with you or fight for you unless these things devoted to destruction are truly destroyed.
OBSERVATION: The Israelites had the task of taking over town after town, that existed on all the land given to them by God, and they had been very successful with Jericho. However, in their attempt with Ai, they encountered some loss of life. For God was not willing to go on blessing them while there was sin in their camp. Because of one man’s sin, others loss their lives, while thousands upon thousands suffered because of the withdrawal of God’s hand of blessing. I wonder, has God’s hand of blessing upon our families, our churches, our cities and our country been impacted because of the sin or one reading this devotional today?
APPLICATION: There seems to be increased tolerance by people and churches to accept almost any condition of society, so that we can fit into their view of what Christ’s church should look like. Fortunately for some countries, including my country, churches are not yet being forced by government to accept certain societal groups who may have beliefs that differ to our interpretation of the Bible’s standards and teachings. However, putting all this aside, I was keenly aware, and reminded, of the importance that God places on obeying Him and honoring His Word. In our story, one man decided that it was OK for him to withhold some of the loot from their raid of Jericho, which was in direct disobedience of God’s instructions. Because of this, God withdrew His power (His blessings) on their (the Israelites) next raid, as they tried to take over Ai. I believe the main takeaway for us in this passage today is that God will not bless sin. He will not bless where sin abides. He will not bless where people, or even a single person decides, apart from God, that it’s OK for them to do their own thing. Please know that this has nothing to do with creativity, for God created us to be creative and think for ourselves, however when He sets boundaries for us, and when He establishes rules and commandments for us, it’s for our own good, our own protection, and for His glory. I believe that God has designed us to be like Him, and I believe that He established guardrails to help us live, work, love, and act more like Him while here on this earth. Friends, if others never recognize Jesus in us, do you really feel like you are honestly being led/guided by Him and living according to His will and purpose? God will not tolerate sin, and since He is the same God who did not tolerate the sin of Achan (the man in our story), I have every reason to believe that He will withdraw His blessing on us when sin abides within. Will you intentionally deny the blessing of God on others because of your selfish desires and stubborn will? I pray that is not the case with any reading this devotional today.
PRAYER: Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the many blessings that You bestow on my family, my church, my city, my state and my country, please, please, please give me strength each day to faithfully honor You, for You alone are worthy of my honor, my obedience and my praise. Because of my son-ship, please help me to always desire and aim to live a sinless life because of a deep desire to please You. Please help me to never forget that in order to receive Your rich blessings poured out daily on myself and those I love and associate with, I must do my part in honoring You and my commitment to be Your follower. Oh that we may live like You today, is my deepest desire today oh Lord. AMEN!