January 5th

Quiet Times:  Putting God First

Joshua 6
27So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout all the country.
Joshua 7
1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel. 2Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, "Go up and spy out the country." So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3And 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." 4So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai. 5And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water. 7And Joshua said, "Alas, Lord GOD, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all--to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan!  10 So the LORD said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11Israel 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. 12Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13Get 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."

Have you ever considered that not having a quiet time each day could have devastating consequences?  Joshua discovered this during the second battle of his career as leader of Israel.  He had just experienced the stunning victory over Jericho where God’s hand leveled the city.  Joshua, unaware that Achan had taken accursed things, eagerly set his sights on Ai, the next city to conquer.   

Had Joshua been in communication with God, he would have known God was very angry with Israel because of Achan’s sin.  God proved several times with Moses that he was forthright concerning the people’s disobedience.  Instead of seeking the Lord concerning the conquest of Ai, Joshua relied on the recommendations of his scout team.  After an embarrassing defeat, Joshua sought the Lord for answers.  God answered Joshua specifically concerning Achan’s sin.  He told Joshua what was taken and what must be done in order to restore his protection of the people.   

Achan’s had taken objects that God had banned.  He took a garment, silver and gold and hid them in his tent.  Making matters worse, the silver and gold were supposed to be given to God’s treasury.  As a result, God withdrew his protective hand from the Israelites and they became “liable to destruction” (Joshua 7:12 NIV).  God required that the objects Achan stole be destroyed in order to restore his protection over the people.  Achan’s sin not only caused the defeat at Ai, but it also caused the death of himself and his entire family by stoning (Joshua 7:25).   

This story illustrates the value of meeting with God on a regular basis.  Though we may think we are living a “good life,” sin can easily creep in and gain footholds.  God will show us the footholds we have given to the devil through sin and what must be done to remove them.  Repentance is very important to maintaining God’s protective cover over us.  As God reveals the things in our lives that must go, we must be obedient in getting rid of them. Repentance may not avert our sin’s consequences, but it will help minimize the damage and maximize the restoration.    

The road to freedom from addiction requires Godly wisdom and strength.  We must stay tapped into God daily for the help we need.  Only God can see the hidden ambushes the enemy may have set for us.  He will help us steer clear of them and walk in purity to enjoy the fruits of righteousness.  Please make it top priority to start your day with God every day! 

See our Quiet Times page for more info on how to meet with God. 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:  “Heavenly Father, Thank you for being my protector and shield.  Please forgive me for my sin and cleanse me through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Please help me make it top priority to meet with you every day.  Father, if there are any things in my life that are not pleasing to you, please begin to reveal them to me.  Please show me what to do concerning repentance, so that there is nothing evil in my life.  I love you, Lord.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”