“Trouble in the Vineyard”
Joshua chapter 7 records the only defeat and casualties listed in the book of Joshua that records conquests for the nation of Israel and it was brought about by in the little area of Ai and by the compromise of a man named Achan. And the truth is Israel didn’t have to go through this time, they brought this upon themselves. Their problem wasn’t in that they weren’t adequately prepared, no their problem was that they believed they were sufficient in themselves. Saint’s we need to realize that we are as dependent upon the Lord for the Ai’s and Achan’s we face as we are for the 40 foot walled Jericho’s. In Deut. 11:11 Moses described the promise land as a land “of hills and valleys” which not only describes the terrain of the land of promise it often describes the geography of the Christian life! Any believer that has spent any time walking after the presence of the Lord will tell you that such a life is often characterized by “Hills” of incredible joy and “Valleys” of despair and discouragement. Hey listen up friends you can’t have the mountains without some valleys and I have found that spending time in the valleys causes me to desire and appreciate the mountains all the more. Joshua is learning that the terrain of descent from the mountaintop of victory at Jericho to the valley of defeat at Ai is difficult to navigate especially when you have the compromise of Achan.
It is good for us believers to remember that there was a snake in the Garden of Eden, a Judas amongst the disciples and a fellow named Achan in the camp of the Israelites. Friends when God is at His best you can count on satan being at his worst! When God’s love does not flow thorough our lives you can bet that it will be replaced by fear and insecurity and there are two causes for this grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit. With out continual consistent fellowship we can expect our hearts to melt like water (verse 5). To make matters worse God had been warning them against this prior to the walls of Jericho falling down. But soon after the walls were down we see Achan, amongst the ruble and ruin caused by the inhabitant’s rebellion, take up the very objects that caused their demise. Saint’s let’s not tread upon the grace and goodness of God.
This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!