Joshua 7 (NKJV)
6) Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.
10) So the LORD said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?
11) “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.
13) “Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”
So this fellow, Achan, grabbed a bit of loot which he knew he wasn’t supposed to take. And God withdrew His favor on the whole nation. Seems a bit harsh, but I believe that God was in the process of teaching this nation of Israel how to be completely devoted to Him. The point that I get out of the above verses is this…
The withdrawal of Gods favor was obvious, in this case – by defeat in a battle that they were supposed to win.
Joshua did not sit around and have a pity party about it. He grabbed the leaders or elders and went to find out from the Source what was wrong. I note that he didn’t just say, “What’s wrong here God” and get an immediate answer. He laid on his face in the dirt for the better part of the day before the Lord. And those with him also joined in the lament.
We can learn from this:
- God does not always answer our requests right away
- He doesn’t necessarily answer them in the way we expect
- Sometimes it takes a group of people petitioning before Him.
But in the end he hears the answer that he needs:
- A sin needs to be rectified.
- Because of the sin, God is hindered in giving them victory.
- The repentance or turning must be complete and unequivocal.
- Until it’s corrected – things won’t change much!
What’s not working in your life?
- Get on your face / on your old prayer bones and seek Him seriously.
- When you hear His answer – respond quickly and completely.
He is not out to punish. He is out to transform us and to make us into Victorious people. Sin (missing the Mark) causes us to have to reap the product of what we sow. Rip it out / till the ground and plant good seed…
Never surprised when I have to be on my knees again!