DayBreaks for 4/13/18: A Look into God’s Heart
The stories in Joshua are fascinating. They’ve finished their punishment for doubting in the wilderness. The bones of the generation that left Egypt, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, lay bleaching in the wilderness sun. They’ve come to the Jordan and crossed it. They defeated Jericho with the commander of the Lord’s army winning the victory. The people had to be excited about the great victory!
Then comes a rather tragic incident. Not long afterwards, the Israelites go up against the relatively insignificant (compared to Jericho!) town of Ai. At Ai, they are resoundingly defeated. Joshua and the rest of the Israelites had to be confounded. Hadn’t God promised them the land and victory? Yes, but it was always conditional on following God’s commands. And one man, Achan, out of the entire Hebrew people, had kept some spoils (which was forbidden by God) from the victory and hidden them. That is what led to the defeat – you see, God knew and saw what had happened. And so this was a very strong lesson to the Israelites that God was serious when he gave commands. He expected them to be obeyed.
After the sin of Achan is dealt with, Israel goes on to battle against 5 kings near Gibeon – and they are again decisive victors! But there was something special that happened: the sun stood still in the sky so Israel could finish defeating the attacking kings. This is what it says: There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel. – Joshua 10:14
This shows us two things about God’s heart:
FIRST: He means what he says. Just ask Achan and the Israelites who fell in battle because of one man’s sinful rebellion. And since God never changes – what he said long ago is still true today – and he still means what he says.
SECOND: How quick the Lord is to forgive and restore! Yes, Israel had been punished, but it says that God heeded the voice of a man and fought for Israel. Why? Because they were his people – and he loved them!
Our God loved his people long ago, and since he never changes, he still loves his people today whether they are red, yellow, brown, black or white. He doesn’t care what language we speak, or what gender we are, or what country we live in. It is his desire, even after disciplining us, to return us to his favor and grant his blessing!
You may have failed him, but don’t lose heart. Return in repentance and you WILL be welcomed!
PRAYER: Thank you for being the God of second, third and one billionth chances! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.