My Brother’s Keeper
Lord, I am grateful for the potential and privileges of this day. May I make wise use of each hour.
Read Joshua 7:10-26
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.
“Every uncorrected error and unrepented sin is, in its own right, a fountain of fresh error and fresh sin flowing on to the end of time” (C. S. Lewis).
Still ignorant of the reason for Israel’s catastrophic defeat, Joshua asks all the wrong questions. Rather than seeking the true cause of the defeat, he questions God’s wisdom and power in bringing Israel into the land. Joshua thought that God’s good name depended on their success rather than vice-versa. God now turns the tables on Joshua by questioning him. God reveals the cause of Israel’s defeat and challenges Joshua to stop whining and show some leadership. What follows may challenge our presuppositions, also.
We live in an individualistic culture where “my” takes preference over “our.” We may want to question the fairness of one man’s covetousness leading to the downfall of the whole community. We may have to learn that much of modern Western individualism does not fit in with God’s plan for family and society. God did not say, “One man has sinned.” He said, “Israel has sinned.” Yet in the end it was Achan and his family (who were probably complicit) who had to pay the penalty before Israel’s progress would be restored.
For the good of society and for our own personal well-being, there is a delicate but important balance we need to find. How we live affects our family and the wider society for good or ill, now and even for generations to come (Exod. 20:4-6). That is the significance of the second commandment, which can rightly say that God punishes the children for the sin of the parents because this is how he has created society. Yet all too easily, people wrongly used this as a false excuse by blaming their own failures on a failing society. “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Jer. 31:29,30).
Pray this prayer: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa. 139:23,24).
Lord, it is so easy to sit comfortably with sin. May I agree with You about it and release it to Your forgiving grace.
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