10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 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.
12 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.
13 “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. Joshua 7
Joshua’s first reaction, “on his face”, appears to be with humility and repentance, after his army was defeated in battle. Some of his men died in battle against Ai. Prior to this battle, there was sin in Israel’s camp. Achan sinned, having taken and withheld things he was commanded not to. He violated God’s command and, “The anger of the Lord burned against Israel.” (v1). Verse 11-12 gives God’s perspective. The action of righteous intervention was required. The intervention was not Joshua “going down on his face.” This intervention involved a different kind of action.
I hear a sharp rebuke and command by God to Joshua. As if to say, now is not the time to pray and repent, it’s a time to take action and do, live and lead in righteousness. God says STAND UP – or you will NOT STAND against your enemies (2X in v.12-13).
When we know there’s wrong to be dealt with, it seems good to linger in prayer. To humble our hearts, repent, make sure our hearts are right and pray fervently.
Spiritual Intervention doesn’t always “look like we need to be in prayer.” It’s holy to be in prayer – or at least it can look that way. What a lesson to warn my heart. Be careful Rod – don’t act holy, just being prayerful…yet neglect spiritual intervention that may require rebuke, correction, dealing with people’s bag and sin. Oh yes – I want to be prayerful – but not negligent to ACT – to take care sin that could derail & destroy the lives of others (including the one who is in sin).
Dear God of mercy, faithfulness and righteousness!
Thank you for this sharp and clear word for my soul, pastoral leadership and life. Whether in my heart, home or serving the Body of Christ – may I be a wise worshipping warrior – who You guide to stand up, to lead. To know how to deal with sin in ways that don’t allow the enemy to bring defeat – or Your judgment! Have great mercy on me O Lord – as your son, servant and shepherd. I Love You Lord of righteousness and grace and truth and love!