Summary: We will examine one of the prayers of Joshua this PM and one he should have prayed. Though Joshua was a great man of faith, we find in these two episodes in Joshua chapters 7 and 9, examples of trouble that always arises when everthing is not brought to
Introduction: We will examine one of the prayers of Joshua this PM and one he should have prayed. Though Joshua was a great man of faith, we find in these two episodes in Joshua chapters 7 and 9, examples of trouble that always arises when everthing is not brought to the Lord in prayer. We need to learn from his and others mistakes when it comes to the importance of prayer in our life.
I. THE PRAYER THAT FOLLOWED SIN--Joshua 7:1-15
A. The Sin - Achan took some of the the booty from Jericho and kept it for himself. God had said taking such thing would make the whole camp "accursed" (6:18), yet Achan took items anyhow--7:1
Whenever we take and plan on using what God has already told us to stay away from, we are playing with fire and can expect to be burned. Greed had taken over in Achan’s heart and life, and that sin was not only going to have an impact upon his family, but upon the families of a great number of men who were going to die. That is just like sin, isn’t it? It convinces us that if anyone is going to get hurt it is going to just be ourselves, so leave me alone and let me do what I want to. But sin isn’t that way in reality. The consequences of sin can be seen everytime in the lives of others who are associated with the person who sinned and thought they were only harming themselves.
B. Joshua and the other leaders mistake--7:2-5
After the gerat victory at Jericho, where God fought for Israel, Joshua continued on with the conquest of the land as planned. But there is something missing here - no prayer was given over to the next city - Ai. It was proper to send a scouting party out to check the enemy out, but prayer needed to precede this attack, for if they had, Joshua would ahve found out about the sin in the camp and 36 good men would not have died. True, the ultimate blame lay with Achan and he paid with his life and that of his children.
It didn’t seem like it was necessary to pray since everything appeared to be going so well (6:27). It always seems that the place of blessing is always followed by the place of testing. So often God’s people fail when the testing comes, for they are not looking for it. This is where continual and regular times of prayer are so vital and necessary.
In verses 3 & 4 we even see over-confidence in their own strength and skills. They figured 2-3 thousand men would all that be necessary to destroy the city of Ai. When the day of battle took place with God fighting for them after Achan’s death and the removal of the curse on the whole camp, 12,000 men and women were dead from Ai. What an over estimate of their strength they had made!
Application: When we are operating in our own flesh and not in the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ, we will usually always over estimate our own abilities and not take into account how strong the flesh really is, and how strong the enemy is. If we bring everything to the Lord in prayer, then we will be turning our heart and will toward the Lord who is able and willing to aid us. On Monday PM, while returning from the farm, Joanna and I had the radio on and listening to Dr. David Jeremiah. He referred to Gal. 2:20 which says, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Dr. Jeremiah pointed out the wonderful truth that it is not our faith that is working in our heart and life; rather, it is the faith of Jesus Christ Himself that is at work within us. True faith is essentially Christ’s faith being allowed to have full sway in our lives.
C. Joshua’s belated prayer--7:6-9
1. The Complaint--7:7
Notice the whinning attitude of Joshua which was so characteristic of those who had made the exodus from Egypt under Moses. Then, they said "Why have we been brought into the wilderness to die, we should have stayed in Egypt, on the other side of the Red Sea." Joshua’s complaint moves up a notch and used another body of water, the Jordon River. Notice that Joshua is blaming God for the predicament they found themselves in! That’s not a very smart move to make.
How often when we find ourselves in trouble do we blame God for not coming through for us when we needed Him? But why were we not in prayer about the situation before wrong decisions were made, and wrong attitudes began to manifest themselves? It is always easier to place the blame for our problems on somebody else than it is to take the blame ourselves!