READING: Joshua 7:1, 1 Chronicles 2:7, Joshua 7:2-9:27
It was surely a most difficult time for Joshua. He had led God’s people into the Promised Land, and they had miraculously conquered Jericho according to God’s plan. Now, though, the warriors from Ai had routed the people of God. About 36 of the Israelite warriors died in the battle. Joshua, their leader, had no idea why God had allowed defeat, so he sought the Lord in anguish: “ Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?” (Josh 7:7). Because Joshua had no knowledge of Achan’s sin in keeping spoils from Jericho, it was beyond his comprehension that God’s people had been so soundly defeated.
Rightly so, he prayed . . . though apparently not for long. In what surely seemed to be unusual to Joshua, God essentially told him to stop praying, get up, and deal with the sin in the camp. Victory would not come until God’s people again consecrated themselves to be His clean, available, and willing vessels. Prayer that does not lead to obedient action is sometimes just words.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Is there a place in your life where it’s time to stop praying and start acting?
TODAY’S PRAYER: “God, help me to pray—and help me to act.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 10:1-12:6