Today’s Readings: Joshua 7:13-26 and Proverbs 26:17-28
As parents we had guidelines and rules in place as we raised our two boys, with the primary purpose of protecting and nurturing them; teaching and encouraging them; a framework for how we did ‘family’ together; an orientation that allowed us all to understand expectation, behaviour and consequences for actions. Particularly when they were young, it was primarily about protecting our boys from themselves …
And of course, there were times when we ALL got it wrong, made mistakes, messed up or simply didn’t know what to do next. And as the boys grew, the challenge was always about how much to hand over to them, knowing that they (like us growing up) would make mistakes.
Our desire and prayer was to bring them to a place of being able of make wise decisions and understand; no much more than this, rather take RESPONSIBILITY for their decisions and actions.
And so as we read Joshua 7, we find ourselves reading a very confronting passage about a man who ‘messed up’ to such an extent that he wasn’t just facing a hurdle, but rather, his whole family lost their life because of one wrong decision! That’s serious …
So why was Achan’s sin such a ‘bad sin’ that ended in this tragic and aggressive loss of life and why did Joshua react in such a way that could be described as ‘melodramatic’?
‘Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell face down to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening.’ Joshua 7:6
The only way to understand is to reflect back on God’s guidelines (no, directives for life) given to his CHOSEN people which was about life and death and consequences based on decisions and actions.
‘But keep away from the DEVOTED things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise YOU will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. Joshua 6:18
In the same way God gave specific guidelines to his chosen about to take possession of the land, this side of the cross, the writer to the Hebrews reminds God’s people (yes that includes us today) of the significance of how we live our lives, and how with God, NOTHING is hidden …
‘NOTHING in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is UNCOVERED and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.’ Hebrews 4:13
Like Achan, we too are called to confess our sins to God, but unlike Achan our prayers bring grace found through Jesus bloodshed for our transgressions … unlike Achan, we know that in true confession of sins we find forgiveness and LIFE … not death!
Achan replied, ‘It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done’. Joshua 7:20
Gracious and loving Father, there are so many things in my life which I need to bring before you daily to seek your forgiveness; to seek you to change me and grow me in awareness of what I might thing I can HIDE from you …. I know too that you are such a generous God, who pours so many blessing into my life that I don’t need to seek the attractions of this world. Forgive me for .. .. and help me to overcome the temptation of . .. In Jesus name. AMEN!