Joshua 7 ~ Vigilance
So the Israelites have won at Jericho, and now they go on to the next city.
Near Beth Aven.
Okay, so Beth Aven sounds like somewhere in England, rather than Israel, but anyway…
They have a look, see that there’s not much competition, and come back saying to Joshua, “Well, it’s a little town, just send a few blokes – everyone else can have a rest.” So that’s what they do – and the next thing you know, the mini-army’s being routed and sent back to camp with their tails between their legs.
Not really a good second impression.
You know what I find interesting, though? Joshua’s cry out to God in verse 7…
And Joshua said, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!” ~ Joshua 7:7
Why is it that God always gets the blame? The moment something goes, wrong, it’s like, “God, why are you doing this to me!”
Why do we never think: “Hmm… Perhaps it’s me?”
Sure enough, it’s the Israelites. Achan decided to keep a few things from Jericho for himself – and until that’s righted, they’re not going to be able to face their enemies.
“When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” ~ Joshua 7:21
And this brings me to the point that I drew out of this particular chapter.
We’re human. We know this, but what that means is that we’re always subject in some way, shape or form to the desires of our flesh. It’s just not something we can avoid, because the flesh is, indeed, weak. The Israelites were all in God’s favour, they were walking in his plan and purpose, and then Achan’s eyes wandered and caught sight of something that made him go, “Oooh.”
That temptation can come in many forms. Whether it’s a Babylonian robe and some gold and silver; maybe it’s a new car; maybe a member of the opposite sex… Temptation is always around us, just waiting for us to take that step towards it, and away from God’s purpose and plan for our lives.
We need to be vigilant. We can never think that the work is done. We will always be tempted, and when we give in to that temptation, we lose our way in the Promised Land.