Sunday, 17th January 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Joshua submitted under Moses’ authority, and when Moses passed away, Joshua became the role model for all Israelite. To submit means to go under, to go below, and only when we submit then we can align.
After the Israelite’s victory by taking down the City of Jericho, they didn’t realized what was ahead of them. Instead of asking God, they attached the City of Ai and failed.
“But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things” (Joshua 7:1)
Accursed thing has two meanings here, first is something that should be offered to God, and second is something that is unpurified and should be destroyed. To submit and to align, there are a few points we should consider.
1. DO NOT TAKE THE PATH OF UNFAITHFULNESS
Why did God ask the Israelite to destroy everything in the City of Jericho? It was the first city they took down after they entered into Canaan, and all Israelite knew that the first should always be offered to God. This is to show themselves as well as the Canaanites that the battle was won by God. The people of Jericho were afraid and their hearts melted by hearing about how powerful God is.
But after the victory, Israelite thought it was by their own strength that they won, and therefore when the spies came back from the City of Ai, they told Joshua it was nothing compare to Jericho. Joshua listened to them instead of seeking God.
And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.” (Joshua 7:3)
The job of the spies is to provide information not instructions. God already told Joshua to ask the High Priest to seek Him in every decision, but instead Joshua listened to the spies’ suggestions. When we align with God, we will receive all the blessings, because God’s Will for us is always good. Nevertheless, when we go against God, then all the curses, troubles, sicknesses, fear, etc. will come to us.
We need to always be alert and stay close with God, to ensure we have a good relationship with Him, to always seek Him so He will lead us into the right direction.
2 DO NOT FALL INTO CURSES
The Israelite did not submit to God as some of them hid the accursed things. Often we thought that the little mistakes we made would be hidden and nobody would ever know, but God knows everything.
“Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.” (Joshua 7:11)
It’s easy for people to cover their sins, to compromise with it and let it come to their lives. When sins become part of our lives, we stop aligning with God. Our sins bring curses in our lives and when we are cursed we would want to hide and stay further away from God. We will no longer be able to stand before our enemy, and just like the Israelite, they were defeated by the people of Ai, which was a much smaller city than Jericho.
Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”’ (Joshua 7:13)
God could easily destroyed the Israelite, but He was giving them an opportunity to repent. God gave instructions for the Israelite to repent, to sanctify and to return. But when no one repented, God decided to point out the person who sinned with great details.
3. FACING TROUBLE, RETURN TO SUBMISSION
Now Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” (Joshua 7:19)
The name ‘Achan’ means ‘trouble-maker’, and Joshua begged Achan to make confession to glorify God. In our confession we actually give glory to God. When we choose to confess, then we can submit with all our hearts and align with God again.
As Christians, we know we are all sinners, therefore we need to face and deal with our sins. God has given us opportunities to not sin against Him by making confession. Often the devil will try everything to accuse us when we confess, but one thing important we need to know is that it’s never about how good we are, but about how glories our God is! So when we focus on glorifying and honoring Him, we can truly submit under His authority and align with Him!