why have you...?

Today's devotion from Joshua 7 & 8.

Today’s readings in Joshua 7 and 8 are some of my favorite from this book. It’s not because I like the situation or circumstance, but because the lesson learned is so powerful. Essentially, Achan sinned against God in the aftermath of the Israelite victory in Jericho. He took things that were not his to take. The result is that God’s hand was removed from the people.

The sad part is that no one noticed that God’s hand was withdrawn. The people just went about their business. Joshua sent spies. They returned with a report. They felt confident and sure, so why bother taking all the people. In fact, they were so confident that it appears that they didn’t even consult God.

That’s really what sticks out to me in this account. I’m not that surprised by the sin of Achan and his family’s apparent complicity. I’m not surprised that a man fell to temptation. What I am surprised about is how quickly the Israelites seem to decide that they don’t need God. They’ve got this. Why send all the people up, Joshua? We’ve got this.

This is just my opinion, but I think that God would have revealed the sin in the camp had they gone to Him in prayer. Had they went before Him for direction or strategy first, He could have helped them avoid the needless loss of life cause by sin in their midst. Instead, they decided simply to act in their own power.

I think this is why its usually small stuff that trips me up. I have enough sense to seek God before attempting anything that appears beyond myself, but I have enough pride to think that some things aren’t beyond me. Is your pride keeping you from leaning into God? Are there things in your life that you say don’t require His assistance?

The next time you stumble, don’t throw blame at God. Don’t go to Him and ask, “Why did you…?” Maybe we should look to ourselves and say, “Why didn’t I go to Him first?”