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Joshua Chapters 7 and 8
Grab your bible and a cup of tea, coffee etc and let's study this passage.
Please read Joshua 6:18-19 and see what God commanded the children of Israel not to do
This is one of my favourite passage's of scripture. Joshua and the children of Israel, had won an astonishing victory at Jericho. They had achieved something, that was mind blowing. They had achieved this through believing what God had told them.. amen.
But as we read in Joshua 6:18-19, God had commanded them not to take of the plunder of the city. But what did they do?
This really speaks to me, of their lack of faith in the provision of God. God wants to provide for our needs Himself, he is a jealous God and he is able to provide all our needs.. amen. That is if only we would let Him.
We want to do it ourselves at times, and when we do, we end up with second best and not God's best.. amen?
Matthew Henry comments on Chapter 7:1-5
Achan took some of the spoil of Jericho. The love of the world is that root of bitterness, which of all others is most hardly rooted up. We should take heed of sin ourselves, lest by it many be defiled or disquieted, Hebrews 12:15; and take heed of having fellowship with sinners, lest we share their guilt. It concerns us to watch over one another to prevent sin, because others' sins may be to our damage. The easy conquest of Jericho excited contempt of the enemy, and a disposition to expect the Lord to do all for them without their using proper means. Thus men abuse the doctrines of Divine grace, and the promises of God, into excuses for their own sloth and self-indulgence. We are to work out our own salvation, though it is God that works in us. It was a dear victory to the Canaanites, whereby Israel was awakened and reformed, and reconciled to their God, and the people of Canaan hardened to their own ruin.
Let me share, what God has shown me through this passage
When we sin and disobey, the direct command of the Lord, his anger is kindled against us. Do you think christian, that you can sin and still remain in fellowship with God? He will not tolerate sin in any shape or form, whether this is stealing a small thing.. like Achan did or thinking wrong thoughts. God sees your motives, your attitudes and your heart, you cannot hide anything from God
Off went the men to view Ai. and they came back really confident. But we do not read that Joshua spent anytime at all, asking for God's blessing on this venture. How often do we as individuals and churches, rush into some venture, without even asking the Lord. Without HIM, we can do nothing. Without his precious anointing, we are helpless..DO I HEAR AN AMEN?
I love these verses. God has heard the cries of the children of Israel about their defeat at Ai. Just imagine, one little defeat and look at the children of Israel in the preceding verses. they are virtually tearing their hair out and having such an inquest over what happened. But they knew why this happened and so do we when defeat hits our lives. It is because there is sin in the camp.
The Lord shared this with me this, this comes direct from the heart of God to his church
'When we should be on our faces in repentance, we are on our feet in pride and when we should be walking in confidence before God, we are on our faces in despair'
In verse 11, it says that the children of Israel have broken the covenant between themselves and God and so it is when we sin. Let us see sin as it is, sin brings separation, even for a believer. God will not look on sin in a believer's life, never mind tolerate it...amen
This is what happens to believers/churches that tolerate and have sin in their midst. The anointing of God, leaves them. Just like it did Samson. They reach out, they preach, they share, but the Spirit of the Lord has departed. How can the Holy Spirit, who is totally pure, live in a believer or church who is actively practising sin? It is impossible my brothers and sisters, you cannot live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and in sin. You have to make a choice.
Clear instructions were given to Joshua, the small word UP., stands out. It is a call to action, not just for Joshua's day, but for today's church, once the Holy Spirit, has shown us sin. Then we are to get up and go to one place and that is the foot of the cross and confess it. 1 John 1:7-9 and Psalms 32 and 51
When God says 'get up' to Joshua. He is saying, whatever are you doing down there Joshua. Likewise with us. Joshua was in the right position at the wrong time, maybe if he had been on his face in prayer before he sent the men to Ai, there wouldn't of been men lost. We sin and then come to God asking for forgiveness, when we needed to come to God asking for strength, not to commit that sin.. amen. If he had prayed to God and asked his counsel, before he sent the men to Ai, the Lord would of shared with Him, what was wrong within the Camp.
When sin is evident, within a church fellowship. There must be action taken. This needs to be systematic and means identifying the root cause of Sin. Joshua had to question many people, who were innocent. But I am sure, that this was done, to show the children of Israel the seriousness of the sin that had been committed.
When Sin, happens in a believer's life. He/she must examine each and every area of their lives, to identify the root cause and to confess it, at the foot of the cross.
Remember, what it says in Galatians 5:9
9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
The only Good thing you can say about Achan is that when he has confronted with this sin, he confessed it immediately. Let me ask you something that the Lord has just shared with me and it relates to the answer given by Achan in Verse 21.
Is there anything hid in the midst of your tent (your life), that needs to be dug up and dealt with with? Have you got something, that no one knows about, but is hindering your walk with God and allowing the devil to keep you in defeat. It is an accursed thing and needs to be dealt with and destroyed. Maybe it has been hid for many many years, no one knows about it.. But God does and he wants you and is asking you to destroy it.. NOW
On this isssue, I speak to myself, as over the years, I have struggled with this. All of God's saints struggled.. look at the Apostle Paul in Chapter 7 of Romans for an example. But their defining experience and it will be mine also is Philippians 3:7-15.. AMEN
Achan was dealt with in the harshest way possible. Now I am not saying that we should do this in the present day. But we must be ruthless towards sin. We are told to be crucified with Christ, we are told to put the flesh to death daily. It must be buried under a great heap of stones. We must be as ruthless to our flesh, as the children of Israel were to Achan.. amen
A great victory was won but more important than that , restoration happened between God and his people , because sin was dealt with in a ruthless way.
May we individually and as a church, deal with sin, in a ruthless way. Confess it and be restored believer and receive the blessing of the LORD.
There is hope though, the following comes from My wonderful Pastor, Mark who ended his excellent sermon on this passage by saying this
Even though this is a story of judgment, it is also a proclamation of hope. The Valley of Achor (a place of trouble) is a foreshadowing of the cross. In taking the punishment for our sin, Jesus went down into that dark valley of judgment and died in our place. God has provided a means by which this dark, hopeless place can become a path toward peace and restoration. God turned the cross of Calvary, a place of unbelievable "trouble," into a place of hope. Way back in Hosea 2:14 God promised, "I will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope." In Isaiah 65:10 He said, "The Valley of Achor will become a resting place for My people who seek Me." And in sending Jesus that is what He has done. Even the valley of trouble can become the door to hope.
God Bless you
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