Summary: Did Joshua do anything wrong?
Remember the story of the Israelites?
God chose a people and gave them a promise of a land filled with milk and honey. God took the Israelites out from the slavery in Egypt. God stopped Pharaoh and his soldiers from killing the Israelites. God led and provided for the Israelites as they wandered in the dessert; it was forty years of teaching the Israelites the consequences of sin!
Then, Joshua led the Israelites, about 3 million of them, cross the Jordan river which God stopped from flowing and claimed the City of Jericho as they obeyed God.
Open your bibles to Joshua……. Look with me briefly to Joshua 1:16….
As they conquered Jericho, look with me Joshua 6:18….
It really looks like the Israelites learned their lesson right? Read along with me now Joshua 7:1-12…..
Right off the bat, God tells us that not everything was right with Israel.
v1a: Achan and others disobeyed the Word of God stated by Joshua! The Israelites burned down the city of Jericho and claimed everything for God! In general, everything looked good as the Israelites were victorious over Jericho but God knew every heart of the 3 million Israelites and some were not right.
v1b: The LORD’s anger burned against Israel. The Hebrew Word for anger here indicates God’s countenance; in other words, God was hurt with the disobedience of His people!
Now, again, only God knew what Achan did along with those close to Achan.
v2-3: Joshua and the rest of the Israelites knew nothing about Achan’s sin and so they continued confidently with the conquest of Canaan by trying to claim the city of Ai.
v4-5: The Israelites were surprised to lose 3000 men at Ai and they were full of fear!
v6: And so, Joshua and the leaders grieved and humbled themselves before God!
That Joshua, what a guy, always doing the right thing!
Oh wait, Joshua is a human being just like us!
What can we note about Joshua in v7-9?
- Joshua says “Alas!” = this is like Joshua saying “Wow, God!”
- Joshua questions God! Joshua basically said “We are going to die; why did you bring us here God?”
And what do you think Joshua meant with his statement at the end of v7??
- Joshua was telling God what contentment was!
- i.e. Joshua knew better than God!
And what was Joshua saying in v8-9??
- Joshua called on God as if God needed his attention!
- Joshua told God “We are dead! You brought shame to us and to your name!”
And Joshua said, “What are you going to do now, God?”
- Joshua had the audacity to dare God!
We already noted that God was hurt because of sins committed by His Chosen People; now His chosen leader Joshua confronts God; how do you think God felt??
If you were God and your people and your leader mocked you, what would you have done??
Nope, God did not annihilate Joshua and the Israelites; God had every right of course and could have just destroyed the Israelites!
Let us note what God did with Joshua and His people in v10-12…..
1. God continued the relationship by talking to Joshua!
2. God straightened out Joshua! God told Joshua to stand up, right?
What do you think God was really trying to say to Joshua in v10??
Let’s sing it together: “Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous. Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever, wherever you go. Joshua, Joshua, Joshua 1 verse 9!”
3. God spoke the truths to Joshua and explained why they lost the battle at Ai! Let’s ask this question: Could Joshua have known that sin occurred with the Israelites??
Joshua should have remembered the command God gave in Joshua 6:18…
4. God gave a warning but another chance to live life to the full!
There are plenty of Biblical Principles to apply to our lives from this passage, aren’t there?
What Biblical Principles can we apply to our lives from this passage??
a. God knows every heart and action!
b. God hurts when we sin!
c. We cannot blame God when something goes wrong; it is either our sins or sins of those close to us!
d. We must always confess our sins through Jesus Christ!
e. We must have confidence in our Almighty, Holy, Loving God!