What’s your problem, God?

Joshua 7:10-13 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: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.

Here in Joshua 7, we find ourselves shortly after the landslide victory that involved the wall of Jericho crashing down.  God told the Israelites to make sure not to take stuff that wasn’t theirs to take.  But someone did – not cool.  This messed them up real bad.  You see, the next battle wasn’t quite as awesome as the previous one.  It seemed like a sure win, no problem at all.   But they got their rear ends handed to them by a pretty pathetic army.  Joshua’s response is so human in the sense that it is completely fickle.   Truthfully, it reminds me of myself.  He can’t understand why God would abandon them like that.  “What’s your problem God?”

So God says to Joshua, “Dude, what are you doing? Why are you crying about this?”  Then God drops it on him that someone blew it.  Apparently there was a moron in the camp who thought he could steal stuff and hide it from everyone, including God.  But God is a little more perceptive than that and the guy gets caught.  In fact, God outs him in front of the entire nation.  After that, they all have to get right with God all over again.  Do they not remember the recent circumcision ceremony?

All along, the problem was not with God.  The problem was with the people.  We so often want God to do everything for us without the cost. We want the same forbidden things that Achin longed for and still expect God to cover it.  But God is after our hearts.  He is after obedience.  Why?  Because He knows that His instructions are what will bring us life.  If we would just obey, we would discover that.  We can’t fall into that mentality that I can have it all my way and expect God to fulfill my expectation for Him.   He asks us to set aside some things and walk in His ways.  If we aren’t willing to set those things aside, maybe we shouldn’t get frustrated with Him for not fighting our battles.

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