The seventh chapter of Joshua has an interesting exchange between God and Joshua, one I haven’t heard shared often. Joshua had led the Children of Israel into the Promised land and had even enjoyed a victory over the city of Jericho. It seems Israel’s military may have become a little too sure of themselves though because they went to fight AI without consulting God. They assumed God would bring them victory, just as he had against Jericho, so they only used a portion of their fighting force and subsequently they returned with their tails between their legs in defeat.
As we look at this event we observe Joshua crying out to the Lord in anguish saying, “Alas, O Lord God, why did you ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?”
Joshua had sent a small portion of his fighting force to fight AI without consulting God first and they were beaten up pretty bad. Now Joshua, their strong, courageous leader, is praying a prayer full of fear and doubt. The truth is, although God told them not to take any spoils of war, a man named Achan had confiscated some things which were under the ban and placed them under a curse. Their defeat was a direct result of disobedience to God and as long as Achan, and the illegal goods, weren’t dealt with that’s where they would stay. God tells Joshua to fix the problem by getting rid of Achan, his family and the stolen goods.
While this whole story is fascinating, the part I wanted you to see is how Joshua was crying out to God and God basically told him to stop. God was not impressed with Joshua and his faithless prayer, what he wanted was for Joshua to do what he was told which is to be the leader of Israel. Sometimes we are guilty of the same thing aren’t we? We know what God is telling us to do and yet we avoid doing it, sometimes even by praying. Isn’t that something? rather than just do what we know to do we grumble and complain instead and in such a “spiritual” way too. If God is instructing you to do or not do something it may be time to stop praying and do it.