In my last blog, I talked about kicking the walls down. Not physically or trying to do it on your own. But doing it with obedience. I mean being obedient to God so that he has the margin to do what he needs to do. When we are obedient, it causes the things he has said we can have to be ours. This blog is going to be about staying in step with God. When I say stay in step, I mean side by side. Not allowing fear or distraction to cause us to shrink back. But also not moving ahead of God as well. Let’s talk about how this affected Josh and the people.
I assume that after taking Jericho, the Israelites were probably so proud and full of themselves. Well maybe not, but they were on cloud nine. So much so, they didn’t not wait for the next instruction to take the city of AI. When I read chapter seven, I saw there were two reasons why they had to wait for the next instruction. One being that there were unfaithful men in the camp who had disobeyed God. God told them to not take any of the goods and to present the first to Him. Well, of course there had to be some greedy person. And so, that affected the whole nation of Israel. God was mad at everybody! Let that sink in. How important is it to have the right people around you? If not, their mess could become your mess.
So here is Josh, now pumped up from his first victory as a leader and ready to take the next land. He does things the same way and send men to scout the land. They had faith now because they now saw the men as defeatable and told Joshua to only send a few men. But none of this mattered since disobedience was whirling around them. God had now taken his hand off of them which meant they were open to defeat.
When we choose to live in disobedience, we open ourselves up to be defeated. Living in disobedience or not waiting on God implies that we don’t need him. So, when we think he is backing us, we are ready doing things on our own. So, when Josh sent the men into the land, they were defeated and overtaken by the army of AI. The defeat of AI showed that what mattered was not the strength of the opponent, but the help of God.
After crying out to God he had to reveal to them there was sin among them. But God didn’t just count one man, he counted the whole nation. 1 Corinthians 5:6 says a small amount of sin from one man can affect the whole group. Josh didn’t need to beg God to change his heart, he needed to change his. They were not able to stand against their enemies because there was sin among them. I wonder how often to realize this in our own lives. We feel like we are fighting demons every day or fighting losing battles, but we don’t look at the sin in our lives. Sometimes God will take his hands off of us because he wants us to see we can’t do it without him no matter how hard we try. But if we surrender and remove the sin, we can get direction.
When they were instruction to handle the sin, they couldn’t just kill off the one person, they had to kill his entire family! How many of us are able to do that? We let go of the toxic relationship but we still talk to the mama. We let go of the friend, but we still interact with them on social media. What are we holding on to? When we are instructed to kill sin, we have to kill all of it.
Once they had done that, they were ready to move on. This is the second reason I saw of why they should’ve waited for God’s direction; they needed new direction. Just because God did something one way, doesn’t mean he will do it that way again. His instruction may be completely different. So, we can’t be so wise in our own way and not include God in our plans.
So, what does all of this mean? Do not move ahead of God. Simple as that. I’ve done it so many times, and each time, I have to go through the consequences, stop, and start all over again. Joshua and the Israelites had to do the same. They now had the new instructions and had to start over to go in and take the land of AI. But the good thing is, they won this time. They now were able to see what happens when they wait on God and seek his instruction.