Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Soon We Forget

Isn't that always the way? Something great happens, God shows us His power and sovereignty, and we praise Him for His goodness. Then the next day something goes wrong and we are back to worrying again. "I know He took care of yesterday's problem, but this is different. What if He doesn't this time?"
I was reading in Joshua this morning, and it struck a chord in my own heart. The first chapters talk about all that God did for the nation of Israel when they finally reached the land of Canaan. They crossed the Jordan River on dry land (sound familiar?), and then defeated the city of Jericho in an amazingly miraculous way. Things were going great! Then chapter 7 hit me like a punch in the stomach:
[7:1] 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 ESV)

What? I kinda want to yell at this guy....even if he IS several thousand years older than me. God was so clear on what NOT to do...and taking stuff that belonged to pagan civilizations was definitely a big one. How could he have missed this? What happened from point A to point B to make him so clearly disobey God's command? His answer is honest and saddening:

[19] Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” [20] And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did: [21] when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

Once again, I feel such frustration towards this guy. Although, at least he came clean. Which must have taken a lot of courage, because the penalty was death! So, if he knew how severe the penalty was, why take some measly items that he had to hide anyway?
 I think he did what so many of us do in our daily lives. He took his eyes off of God as provider. I think the correct name would be Jehovah-Jirah (The LORD provides.) He simply forgot. "But so quickly?" You might wonder. Well, yes. Don't we all forget just as quickly? Don't we see God provide, or give us an amazing victory in our lives, and yet doubt Him in almost the very next second? I do. All the time. Yesterday someone mentioned in a prayer that God has done amazing things for Derrick and me, because He's provided for us this whole year since Derrick stopped getting his assistant pastor salary. And you know what? I had forgotten how incredible that is. I was too busy worrying about tomorrow to even remember how good God has been to us, and how He has come through every time. I'm pretty sure this is what happened to Achan. He was so focused on where his next "paycheck" would come from, that He completely disregarded the powerful God who just caused the walls of Jericho to crumble at the sound of trumpets and shouting.
 So, I think I'll go a little easier on Achan. Better yet, I'll remember and praise God more often for what He has done, and look forward to seeing what He will do in the future. After all, "[26] Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
(Matthew 6:26 ESV)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Melyssa. Great reminder. And yes..we are no different. We are blessed one minute. Forget the next. Complain the next. It's easy for us to criticize the children of Israel, when we do absolutely the same thing, sadly.
    "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief."