Friday, March 23, 2012

March 23, 2012 … Our Commander in Chief

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Joshua, Chapters 5-8 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Reference Passage : Joshua 7: 24-26 … 24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today.” >>> Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. 26 Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from His fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.

My Journal for Today: Reading through Joshua’s Book, chapters 5-8 today, we see how God began to assert Himself on behalf of His chosen people as Joshua began to assert God’s power in taking the lands God had promised to His people. They marched across the Jordan, with miracles happening in their march; and hearing about these miracles, the Canaanites folded before them; and of course, we know the so oft repeated story of how the walled-city of Jericho fell in the wake of God’s, power, chronicled in Joshua, Chapter 6.

Then in Chapter 7 of Joshua’s book, there is the troubling story of one of the leaders of God’s people, Achan, … who, after the defeat of Jericho and against God’s specific instructions, stole some of the spoils of Jericho which, according to God’s instructions were to be thoroughly destroyed and left behind. Nothing was to be taken into the lives and culture of God’s people from the leavings when Joshua led God’s army to victory. In this way, God’s people would not be impure and involved in the covetous culture of the pagans the Israelites defeated.

The story of what happened to Achan and his family is a tough one to abide as we view our God as a loving God so full of grace and mercy. But we must never forget that, though our God truly is a God of grace, He is also a God Who is jealous of His holiness; and the Lord will not abide anything which defiles that holiness. Note that the effects of Achan’s sin, which was felt by an entire nation. Achan’s sin even dampened the power of God’s army in going up against the men of Ai; and Joshua’s army sustained a temporary set-back against these Canaanites until the sins of Achan could be eradicated from the midst of the Israelites.

Sometimes, we underestimate the effects of what can seem like such a momentary and minor-league lapse into sin; and then, in dealing with the after-effects of the sin, we come to realize that no sin against God, … no disobedience of His will, … no transgression of God’s word is unimportant or trivial. And do not be surprised if the ramifications of one’s sin can overflow into carnal damage involving one’s entire family – as was the case with the stoning of Achan’s family along with his own punishment.

The overflow circumstances from sin can be devastating; and I have seen that in the ministry I lead where men, who “dabble” in sexual sin, when it’s uncovered, will often see their marriage severely damaged, their ability to parent dampened significantly, and often irreparable damage sustained in leading God’s ministries/missions. Cases like Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, and others are more modern, Achan-like, stories where one’s short-term, selfish, sexual sin has enormous consequences for God’s people and a crippling effect upon the family of the sin-tarnished Christian leader.

I hope we all read and internalize these chapters, and especially the story of Achan, realizing that one cannot “dabble” in sin without reaping the potential whirlwind of circumstances which can result when that any sin choices which are revealed. May we all walk-the-walk of purity so that we can march toward the promised-land in the strength of a purified relationship with our Lord.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, that is my prayer today. Amen

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