Summary: After we have overcome difficulties and reached the mountaintop in our walk with the Lord, that’s the time to be on guard against sin.
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Pastor James May
A few services ago the Lord had a message of victory for our church and for each of you as we spoke concerning the Walls of Jericho coming down. Joshua and Israel were on a spiritual high. God was gracious to Israel and had led them to a great victory. The nation celebrated as they faced their first major obstacle in claiming the Promised Land. It seemed that nothing could stand in their way now.
Have you ever felt that way in your walk with the Lord? Has God ever performed a miracle of healing for you, or given you such a blessing that you just knew it had to come from God? After we have come through a hard trial and the sun begins to shine upon us once again, it’s such a wonderful feeling.
I know that most of you have lived in this area of South Louisiana for a long time and experienced the anxiety of a hurricane as it swept in from the Gulf of Mexico and across our area causing terrible wind and flood damage over a widespread area. The electric power lines may be down for weeks at a time and life seems to come to a standstill. It’s as though we were suddenly pushed back 100 years or more into the past.
Oh how great it feels when that power is restored and the water, gas and other utilities are turned on once again. It’s a great feeling to see the dark clouds and wind subside and then watch the sun’s rays of light break through and then blue skies appear as the storm continues its trek out of our area.
That’s a similar feeling, of relief, peace and deliverance, that Israel must have felt that day after their great victory at Jericho.
Joshua 7:1, "But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel."
Israel had won a great victory but now the anger of the Lord was kindled against them because sin had entered the heart of one man.
This should be a lesson to each of us that we cannot sin and not have that sin affect the entire church. If only one of our members is living in sin then the moving of the Holy Spirit within our services is limited because we grieve Him. That’s why there are many services where we seem to only go through the motions. That’s why we sometimes leave feeling as empty as when we came. Sin in the church is destructive and God will deal with us as a corporate body if we allow that sin to remain without repenting of it.
Achan, a warrior of the Tribe of Judah, had committed a great sin in direct disobedience to the commandment of God that no one should take of the spoils of Jericho. The riches of the city belonged to God. After all, God brought down Jericho, not Israel; and God would not share His glory with the unbelieving people of Israel.
Joshua 7:2-5, "And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labor thither; for they are but few. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water."