Wednesday – Glory Belongs to God

By George Volpe

   But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger  of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.” Joshua 7:1

   In 1961, “Wide World of Sports” aired on TV for the first time with the introduction, “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat.” That has actually become a byword in our language today. We all wanted to be on the victory side after watching the accidents by athletes who missed the mark in dangerous maneuvers. In life just as in sports, the distance between a great victory and a painful defeat is often only a very small misstep.

   Never is the believer in greater danger of a fall than after a victory. That is when we are more likely to drop our guard and begin trusting in ourselves or in our past victories rather than the Lord. Israel had just miraculously crossed the Jordan and also miraculously conquered Jericho. They accomplished these victories without devising any strategy. They hadn’t valiantly fought. There were no siege engines or tunneling under the walls. They used no battering rams, no bombardment, no storming the towers. There were no feats of valor to bring honor to brave men. God alone was to be honored for this day. They had simply done what God told them to do, marching around the city, blowing their trumpets and giving a loud shout. The victory was God’s alone. It was God’s intention that Israel would once again see that obedience and trusting God brought results beyond their expectations.

   With such an overwhelming victory at Jericho, Israel’s confidence swelled. So, Joshua set his sights on the conquest of Ai. But the same people who watched the walls of Jericho fall ran into a wall where there was no wall at Ai, a town so small they didn’t even think it was necessary to enlist God’s help. And even after they realized that mistake, God revealed another serious issue. Achan had taken spoils from Jericho after God had expressly forbidden it.

   Who was Achan? His parents saw Moses lead them out of Egypt. They witnessed the plagues. They told him of the events of the first Passover. His father Carmi walked through the Red Sea and ate manna every morning. He saw the quails fall from the skies to feed the people. Achan saw the brazen serpent save those bitten by poison venom. We could compare Achan to someone today who grew up attending every Sunday School class and every church service. In spite of all this, Achan loved himself more than God. He neglected his relationship with God. He wasn’t praising God for the miraculous victory over Jericho. He was looking for something to take for himself. He brought death and disgrace on himself, his family, and other innocent people.

   Read Judges 7.

Bible Reading Plan - Day 183

Heb 8-9

Ps 140

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