Dangerously Undetected Burning

04. June 2007 Joshua 0

Text: Joshua 7:1-5 Theme: God’s anger was burning but noone was noticing  Key verses: “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan…took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai…So the men went up and spied out Ai. When they returned to Joshua, they said, ‘Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it…So about three thousand men went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them…At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water.” (v. 1-5) What God said to me: Dwayne, this is a very pointed message today: Never take our fellowship for granted. Never assume everything is fine between us. And never go a day without checking in with me to be sure you are fully obeying me. What is important and vital to note about this passage is not so much what is written here, but rather what is not written. Joshua was basking in his success and new fame. Life was good. Some trusted spies came and told him news he liked to hear. Why bother asking me about their advice? Had he and Israel not just taken the most fortified city in that region? Their confidence level was very high. They could take these measley Ai people – or so they thought. You see, my son, they failed to check with me first. My anger was already burning against them, and they didn’t even realize it. That is because they had stopped seeking me. Not once since their great victory at Jericho had they sought me or come before me to offer thanks and sacrifice. I would have gladly warned them and told them not to go and fight until the problem in their camp was resolved. But they never asked. More specifically, Joshua, the leader, never asked. And ultimately it was his responsibility. Need I point out the incredible applications these truths have for you and your leadership? What I said to God: Holy God, You have nailed me this morning. You know I had a wonderful time of victory just yesterday at a worship weekend. The enemy was routed within that church. Yet this morning, already I have been tempted to ignore my quiet time and to let down the guard on my heart. Please forgive me for my apathy and spiritual pride! I want to know when Your anger is burning against my unconfessed sins! I want to be aware of moments when Your hand has been removed from my labors and from those I help lead. I want to know when there is “sin in the camp.” And I know You will show me if I will pray without ceasing and humbly seek Your face. Thank You for this incredible warning and word today. Praise You!