No one likes things stolen let alone lost. It takes both the item and the trust away from the people, sometimes friends, neighbors, co-workers. And the ripple effect is that overall trust is damaged in every person who hears of theft, whether it is high end theft or petty stealing as if a game of getting away with it. I’ve not experienced recent theft but have in the past, small stuff, like a giant pumpkin on my birthday taken from my house, and once almost lost my purse to a sneaking kid who tried to be an opportunist to my ignorance, pushing an unlocked ajar door open and snatching where I nearly was lighting up my purse with neon lights that said – “this is an easy steal” – oops… I slammed the door – God helped me keep my stuff – but yeah damage done to my psyche – my memory remains. It reinforced the double-checker in me. I have moved on, but not without learning. Most importantly I tell myself that we live in a broken world, that only by Jesus and God’s Love will we all be restored in the Lord’s Trust.
One of the strange sad realities of the human race is that we all experience the whole brokenness of the human race from all who are human. And we ARE all human. Therefore one of the HOPES we have in JESUS will be in the repair of our humanness. When He returns (see Revelation), the earthly brokenness of people will be bound up and tossed away. The restoration of TRUST is going to be SO AMAZING, believable and real. I can barely really imagine, having lived in reality here, to see us be blessed with that level of forgiveness – we are and will be forgiven enough to forgive others and to see restoration of “in God’s PEOPLE we trust”. I have to imagine that the inherent and learned distrust will dissipate like an ice cube on a hot day.
We must live our lives in that repentant way now, practice what God preaches and live open to His examination. Without hindrances to keep moving forward. But as for those sins perpetrated against us, we must let the Lord do the weeding out, He knows all, let Him extract truth and justice. Keep close to Him – and keep walking with Him in the present, away from the past.
Joshua led the Lord’s people to prosperity times by the Lord setting them apart for the Promised Land. God gave compassion during and after their wandering in the desert, but a few bad apples spoil the day again and again, even in their Promised Land… In Joshua chapter 7, we learn that someone kept loot that was not theirs, took it knowingly and had to hide it, they themselves lived in fear of being caught. Joshua was charged with examining those people, one by one. The tribes and families the Lord Himself brought forward, knowing the culprit, He brought the TRUTH to LIGHT. God said: You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them – meaning the stolen devoted things – the plunder – and the lies. God wants to move forward with people who trust Him.
The confession of Achan opened up the truth. This allowed God to once again bless and direct the people to victory. They prospered in war against the village of Ai (see chapter 8) and were blessed in provisions and importantly God’s leading.
We will move forward in life as well IF we rely upon God to give us His direction and prosperity and He will give it abundantly. We even can give forgiveness to those who do steal from us – even if we don’t know them because we DO KNOW that they are coming from a broken place. Maybe we need to sacrifice a bit right now, including our egos, and not be so attached to plunder of our own, allowing us to live more freely. Yes for our future, we even have to prepare our hearts for battle, wait upon God for directions, and move in when He commands. When Jesus returns (keep looking for that Light), we will be given greater spoils than what we could take for ourselves now. We will gain His life in us. We will be restored as Kingdom people one day. Jesus, come quickly.
It is important to live open lives to the Lord so He knows that we know we are waiting on Him.
The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 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. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. “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. “‘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. Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’” Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen.
Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen. Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
Chapter 8 – The taking of Ai and the renewal of the Covenant
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out toward the city the javelin that was in his hand.
Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. …