A Line in the Sand

Yahweh said to Joshua, 'Get up! Why have you fallen on your face like that?' Joshua 7:10 WEB

Joshua lay on his face before the ark of the Lord all evening. Yesterday he was a mighty warrior, but now Israel had lost the battle at Ai because one of the men with him had broken the Lord's commandment concerning the loot of Jericho.

When they crossed the Jordan river into the promised land, Jericho was the first city that they faced. All of the gold and silver and valuables were to be brought into the Lord's treasury (Joshua 6:19). It was a 'tithe' or 'first fruits' offering to the Lord.

Israel could have all the rest of the cities, but not the first one. It was God's. One of the soldiers named Achan, took some of the gold from Jericho anyway and hid it in his tent. Then God turned away from them, and Israel lost the next battle at Ai.

Joshua was betrayed, and though it was not his fault, it certainly affected him. As he lay on his face, crying out to the Lord in pain, hurt, depression, defeat, and wondering what to do next, an answer came.

The Lord had a solution: "Get up! Deal with the past, and let's go." He was not to lay there a moment longer, as he was being slowly swallowed in self pity, anxiety, and fear of what might happen because of this defeat. So Joshua got up, dealt with it, and he was never defeated in battle again.

We can make a fresh start in life today just like this. We can turn around at any point and begin to put God first, believe and trust in Him to take care of us. It is time to draw a line in the sand that we will no longer cross. To commit to the Lord Jesus, and not compromise for a cheap temporary thrill. To break from the destructive patterns of our past.

If you have something that is haunting you today, do what Joshua did: Lay before the Lord and pray until you get your answer. The strength, wisdom, and encouragement to deal with it will soon come. Then make a fresh start with a clean slate, because today is the first day of the rest of your life. Make it count.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please forgive me of my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Wash me and I will be clean. Give me a fresh start today. Make my choices clear and speak to me in ways that I understand, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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