Looking at the Inside
Merciful Lord, how thankful I am for what Jesus did for me! I come numbly to be with You now.
Read Joshua 7:10-26
 The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?  Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.  That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.  “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.  “‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the LORD chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the LORD chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the LORD chooses shall come forward man by man.  Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!'”  Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen.  The clans of Judah came forward, and the Zerahites were chosen. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was chosen.  Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen.  Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”  Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done:  When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”  So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath.  They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the LORD.  Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor.  Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.  Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was Israel defeated and how was the situation rectified?
Joshua is about to learn a lesson about seeing things through God’s eyes. He had lost a military campaign and somehow felt God had been responsible. While he is still praying, God interrupts him with a question: “Joshua, why are you allowing human pride to cloud your judgment?” Then Joshua knows that the problem lies in his camp, not God’s. Despite the military precision he had instilled, the discipline he demanded, the dedication he attracted, all Joshua’s efforts had failed to stop corruption taking hold. One man’s lust for physical riches had sown seeds of destruction for all Israel. Achan may not have been alone in looting. This was common military practice following a victory. However, God had made it clear that this was not how the Israelites were to act. Achan must have been terrified as he moved closer and closer to the front but still he didn’t own up. Finally, he shows contrition for his sin and has to pay the law’s penalty by forfeiting his life (25). This is a hard lesson. God is not taken in by outward appearances, whether empty prayer or human endeavor. He is concerned with what goes on inwardly; so, too, should we.
What real and lasting changes should God make in you so you can love and serve him better each day?
Holy Lord, I want to honor You with my total honesty and obedience. Work Your will in me, I pray.
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