Mo 7/3Tu 7/4We 7/5Th 7/6Fr 7/7Sa 7/8Su 7/9
Josh. 5
Pss. 132–134
Josh. 6
Pss. 135–136
Josh. 7
Pss. 137–138
Josh. 8
Ps. 139
Josh. 9
Pss. 140–141
Josh. 10
Pss. 142–143
Josh. 11
Ps. 144

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

The fall of Jericho (Joshua 6) is one of the best known stories in all of Scripture. Lesser well known is the inglorious but important episode that follows. An Israelite man named Achan takes some of the spoil of Jericho for himself, placing a few valuable items among his own possessions. This was in direct contradiction to Joshua’s instructions that everything in the city should be “under the ban” (NASB) or, as the ESV renders it, “devoted to destruction” (Josh. 6:18). Specifically, the silver and gold taken by Achan were supposed to have been put into the “treasury of the LORD” (6:19), not taken as personal plunder.

The result of Achan’s sin was that, by God’s decree, the people of Israel failed miserably in their next attempt to conquer a city (Ai) in the Promised Land. Upon defeat, Joshua, unaware of Achan’s sin, cried out to the Lord. We paraphrase: “Lord, You bring us into the land, and then we lose only our second battle? I thought giving us victory was how You were going to make a great name for Yourself. What gives!” (See 7:7–9.)

Joshua rightly appealed to the glory of the name of the LORD. And we, along with Joshua, might expect priority number one for the glory of God’s name to have been absolute and unquestionable victory for His chosen people in every circumstance. But there was something God cared about even more than His people winning their next battle. That was their complete devotion to Him.

The problem with Achan’s sin—his coveting of what belonged to the LORD—was that it represented a corruption of Israel’s complete devotion to God their Redeemer. And it was only after this corruption was purged that victory could be achieved. Achan’s error may seem relatively small to us, and the consequences for his actions (the stoning and burning of him and his entire family) overly severe. But if so, we do not understand the great importance of complete devotion to the Lord.

God had made it very clear that He expected His people’s total devotion. Furthermore, He made it clear that He expected this, not because that’s how they were to earn His love for them, but because He had already completely devoted Himself to them. He was the LORD who brought them up from the land of Egypt to be their God; thus they were to be holy, for He is holy (Lev. 11:45).

This was true of Israel, and it’s true of us, the Lord’s New Testament people. He is unwaveringly devoted and always faithful to us. In return, we are to be faithfully devoted to Him in every part of our being. Note the order here. God is not devoted to us because we have earned His love by proving our devotion to Him. No, “we love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Think about Jesus. He clearly demands His people’s complete devotion of all we are and all we have to Him: “He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10:38). But this expectation comes with great comfort and a wonderful promise: “He who has lost his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). We find our lives in Him because He is the “good shepherd” who “lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

Our Lord does not ask anything of us that He hasn’t already done for us. He even suffered a shameful accursed death at the hands of His own people (kind of like Achan’s accursed, propitiatory death). Jesus put Himself under the ban—He was devoted to destruction—so that we might be rescued in Him from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10).

VERSE TO MEDITATE ON

There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.
—Joshua 8:35

HOW TO PRAY

  • Adoration – Praise God for His steadfast love for His people through all generations.
  • Confession – Confess things you have wanted to keep for yourself, rather than devoting them to the Lord.
  • Thanksgiving – Thank God for victories He has granted you in life, over sin or over adversity or temptation.
  • Supplication – Ask God for strength to stand firm and remain faithful in your current trials.

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This post by Alex McNeilly

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

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