JOSHUA'S FIRST MISTAKE
It is quite natural, humanly speaking, to make important decisions from our own reasoning based on whatever circumstances of which we are aware. We often fail to ask God’s wisdom or seek Holy Spirit for counsel. It might work out okay, or it might go poorly. We don’t always know the “full deal” although we think we do. God can see the “hidden” things of which we are unaware.
Joshua is a good example of such a mistake, his first (but not only one) recorded mistake came after he had just had a great victory at Jericho, and his fame quickly spread throughout Canaan. The people were to take absolutely nothing from the “spoils of war” from Jericho. The only things to be taken were vessels of gold, silver, brass and iron strictly for “the treasury of the Lord.”
The next conquest was to be Ai. The two spies sent to Ai reported back to Joshua that it was quite a small city which would not require Israel’s full army. They advised Joshua to send only two or three thousand men to conquer it. Joshua listened to their advice and sent three thousand men against the small city. They were outnumbered nearly 100:1. Ai sent out 36 warriors who thoroughly routed Israel’s 3,000 men.
Joshua was distraught over this defeat, thinking God had abandoned them. As he rent his clothes and cried out, God answered him. Israel had sinned at Jericho and gone against His commandment that the people take nothing for themselves. It was revealed, through a process, that Achan had taken and hidden and buried an expensive garment and a wealth of gold and silver all under his tent. Because of this sin, he and his family were stoned and burned. God then gave Joshua instructions on how to defeat Ai.
Joshua’s failure was in not seeking God’s direction in the first place. He did not know of the sin of Achan’s family, but God did. Had he first sought God on the matter instead of making a decision based on what somebody else had said, the whole Ai debacle could have been avoided.
How many times have we made mistakes because we did not first ask the Lord about it? Ask guidance from Holy Spirit; He is our counselor; He is our anointing; He is the voice of God to our human spirit. Holy Spirit will guide you in the wisdom and knowledge of God.
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