Monday, January 9, 2012

A Reflection on Joshua 6 & 7

At times Israel can seem like a sullen teenager. In Joshua 7 the Israelites are defeated by the city of Ai because the Israelites have sinned against God. Joshua, not knowing about the sin, rips his clothes, throws dust on his head, and prostrates himself before God. He then complains bitterly and says we should’ve just stayed on the other side of the Jordan (and I read the tone, ‘because this trip sucks!’).

God calls him out, “Stand up! Why have you fallen upon your face?” “Joshua,” God says, “you are a ding bat. Do you think I have given up so easily? That I, the Lord of Lords, will let you be destroyed for no reason. No, someone has sinned.”

You see, Joshua assumes that God has left the people to be destroyed. He jumps to the worst possible conclusion and lets fear overtake him. It is easy to mock, but Joshua’s reaction is so natural. When things don’t go our way, we assume God is against us. And that it is God’s fault we are here in the first place (if I didn’t follow God, I wouldn’t be here). Fortunately, the Lord is bigger than our temper tantrums.

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