Tag Archive: Humanism

In the storm that rages all around,
I am, the figure standing tall.
I am, not swept away by squalls.
My feet are firmly planted,
the roots run to the core.
I will not topple,
though some do not see,
they cannot see,
the flash of light,
and for a moment,
they do.

 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!” Joshua 7:7 NIV

We know that sin causes death. That, through one man, Adam, sin came into the world. We know that we have been delivered from the death that comes by sin through our Lord, Jesus Christ, who took upon the sins of all the world that we would be saved and become the righteousness of God in Jesus.

Joshua has spent over forty years with the Lord and knows what God has promised the people of Israel. He was there with the Israelites from their emergence from Egypt and witnessed all of their complaints to God. Indeed, he is one of only two adults who believed God whole heartedly when he first spied out the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14).

Joshua is now leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, and yet, when faced with a minor defeat, he repeats a sentiment often expressed by the Israelites in facing hardship, “Why did you bring us here to fail? We would have been better off where we were!”

Where then, is the man who has believed the promises of God? Joshua knows intimately the cost of sin. He’s had the last forty years to see every adult that he once knew drop down and die because of unbelief. Furthermore, he knows that God does what he says he’s going to do. Why does he seem to falter now?

Could it be that Joshua is only human? We know that God told Joshua three times, at least, to be, “strong and courageous,” before setting off on this military campaign (Joshua 1:6,7,9). Furthermore, God told him that he would be with him as he was with Moses (Joshua 1:5). However, Joshua looks to the worst possible outcome (the complete destruction of the Israelites from the Earth) when faced with a defeat.

How much Joshua’s plight reminds me of myself. How humbling it is to see a “hero” of the Bible be brought low by a failure in his life. Years of expectations and belief in the promises of God shattered, or so it appears, in an instant.

In what other ways did Joshua respond to this situation?

1. Joshua humbled himself before the Lord.

Joshua and the elders sprinkled dust on their heads and went to their knees. They didn’t rush off sending more men to fight. They could have said, “we didn’t send enough so let’s send more.”

2. After humbling himself before the Lord, Joshua brought his complaint, his fear, and the situation, to God.

And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord , why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?” Joshua 7:7-9 NIV

What’s Joshua going to tell the people now that they failed? What are they going to do now when their enemies will hear of their failure and come destroy them?

3. Joshua listened to God’s response.

Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. Joshua 7:11 NIV

God tells Joshua how and why the Israelites are in this situation.

“Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them. Joshua 7:11-13 NIV

Furthermore, God tells him how to resolve the issue.

“ ‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man.” Joshua 7:14 NIV

4. Joshua did exactly what God commanded him to do.

Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. Joshua 7:16 NIV

The Israelites subsequently defeat the people of Ai, plunder it, and move on from there. Moreover, Joshua never has another issue with his faith in following God.

As believers, we are going to face failures in our lives. Jesus told us that we will have trouble in this world. We are going to be persecuted. Hardships will come upon us. When these trials come, do as Joshua did:

1. Humble yourself before God.
2. Bring the situation to God.
3. Listen to what God tells you.
4. Do what God tells you to do.

When we cling to the promises of God, knowing that God will never leave us or forsake us, then everything will work out for the good of those who love Him.


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