But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel. Joshua 7: 1(NIV)
Israel had just won a resounding victory at Jericho. The walls of the city had come crumbling down. Everyone was excited and Joshua was being celebrated as a great leader. The previous chapter had ended with Joshua’s fame spreading across the country. Now the Israelites were ready to conquer the next city, Ai. It was a much smaller city than Jericho and its defeat would open up more territory in the Promised Land.
It was going to be a walk over, they assumed. If Jericho could fall, Ai would be no match for Israel. But the Israelites were soundly defeated by the soldiers of Ai in the ensuing battle. Joshua had sent out some men to do a reconnaissance. Upon their return, instead of making a simple report, they took it upon themselves to recommend the policy they thought best for defeating Ai. Yet, unknown to Joshua and everyone else, God was already angry with Israel because of the sin of Achan. Though the crime was committed by one person, the whole nation was considered guilty.
Oblivious of Achan’s sin, Joshua was eager to move forward and take more territory. Being a little too self-confident, resting too much on the victory at Jericho, Joshua failed to take time to get alone with God to inquire of Him about the strategy for Ai. He simply resorted to doing what his men asked him to. If Joshua had spent time with God, he would have realized something was wrong and could have dealt with it first.
How often are we like Joshua! Maybe because we’re workaholics and so action-oriented, usually activity driven or too eager to be successful; we sometimes fail to take time to draw near to the Lord. We often fail to draw on His resources and put on the full armour of God. We rush off on our own, overestimating ourselves, yet defenseless against the enemy. We end up operating in our own strength and wisdom to our detriment.
Never overestimate yourself.
Never underestimate the enemy.
Never rush into a battle without the full facts.
Never presume you know it all.
Nothing escapes the eyes of the Lord.
Times of success are times we need to be on guard.
Times of victory are times for renewed caution.
Lord, help me realize that waiting on You is not just a passive activity but the source of my strength; that You are the strength of my life; my Wisdom and my Help in time of trouble; my Guide through all the seasons of life.
♬We Wait by Juanita Bynum