“Israel has sinned …” (7:11)
Chapter 7 also teaches us how to deal with sin. We see Joshua’s initial reaction to the defeat at Ai. He is devastated and rightly falls before God in importunate prayer as to how they could possibly have gone wrong. God’s reaction is very straightforward. “Get up” he tells Joshua and in effect says “you are wasting your time praying; now is not the time for such things; the issue is far simpler.” Often, we can go round and round in our minds trying to analyse where things may have gone wrong. We pray and ask God for special words of knowledge, or a greater gift of discernment while all the time, the answer is far more simple. There was sin in the camp and it had to be destroyed; there was no negotiation in this as God gave then no other option. First, they sanctified themselves, then, by a process of elimination, Achan is filtered out as he is the guilty man. The evidence is laid before everyone as a witness (v.22). The punishment seems harsh to our minds but there must be no legacy, nor opportunity to sin in the same way again. The lesson is simple; we cling to old things, habits, sins, etc at our peril. There is only one remedy :- “Be separate says the Lord and do not touch the unclean thing; then I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to simply and radically deal with all sin.”