Cover to Cover

Reading: Joshua 7:1-10:15

Focus: Joshua 7

Where one’s leadership is as good as their followers (see yesterday’s entry), the strength of a group is only as good as its weakest link, regardless of its leadership. This was certainly the case with Israel. Already, in Moses’ lifetime the disobedience of the Israelites cost them a high price. An entire generation returned to the desert to die because they feared the inhabitance of the Promised Land rather than trusting God to deliver them. Yet, they still don’t seem to get the point.

As Joshua began to undertake the conquest of the Promised Land, they had already taken the city of Jericho. Their next target was the city of Ai. After a spy report that gave no considerable concern to the Israelites, Joshua only sent a small force against the city but they were driven away losing some men in the process. In shame, Joshua and the leaders torn their clothes at the tragedy which had befallen them. As Joshua came before God, he discovered there was a weak link in the people of Israel.

As Joshua examined the people of Israel, God led him through the different tribes, clans and families, finally coming to Achan. Achan admitted to taking from the plunder of Jericho that which should have been given to God. Tempted by the riches before him, Achan fell prey to greed and as a consequence the first battle with Ai was a disaster. In the end, Achan and his family were stoned to death, and all his possessions burned. Subsequently, Joshua went out and demolished Ai with God’s full support.

Our lives can be very much similar. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Is it greed? Is it envy? Is it lust? Is it pride? We could pull up lists upon lists of things that we could do away with so that we might grow stronger, wiser and all the more better for God’s service. Regardless of what they are, unless we treat these things with contempt and seek to rid ourselves of them, we only do ourselves a disservice and set a stumbling block before ourselves.

Next Reading: Joshua 10:16-13:33

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