Joshua and the people of Israel were stunned. This small group of people, whom God had called them to defeat in battle, were winning. Why? What was wrong? Why would God allow them to defeat the Israelites? Weren’t we doing what God called us to do?
Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, "Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?" (Joshua 7:6-9 ESV)
Joshua doesn’t know what do to, so he turns to God. Good move.
Do you ever feel this way? God, I go to church services every Sunday! God I serve on ministry teams every week! God, I’m trying to walk with you and still these problems seem to defeat me. Why? Do you turn to God, too? Good move.
The LORD said to Joshua, "Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. Get up! Consecrate the people and say, 'Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the LORD, God of Israel, "There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you." (Joshua 7:10-13 ESV)
When we ask God the question, we need to be ready for the answer. Sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear. “You sinned.” “You rebelled against me.” “You are fighting me.” These are not things God takes lightly.
Still, the only good move is to seek wisdom from God. Ignoring God got us into this mess. Seeking God can get us out of it. That’s what Joshua did. How about you?
Do you turn to God in prayer? Is it before or after you find yourself in a mess? When do you seek wisdom from God?