but the Children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the Tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the Children of Israel (Josh. 7:1).
Israel had won a great victory regarding Jericho. The victory, of course, belonged to the Lord. The Believer, however, as Joshua, is sometimes caught off guard after a great victory. It is easy at such a time to be overconfident, and, thereby, to forget prayer. Had Joshua prayed about Ai, sin would immediately have been discovered and defeat avoided.
A hidden sin was the cause of Israel’s defeat at Ai. God had given the Command that none of the “treasure” of Jericho was to be taken by the people; all of it was to be dedicated to the treasury of the Lord. Achan had disobeyed that Command and had taken for himself some silver, gold, and a Babylonian garment (Josh. 7:21).
In the life of victory, God is the One and Only strength of the Believer. We have no other strength. But God cannot give that strength if we indulge in sin. If He did, He would deny His Own Nature, which is Holiness. When He acts in power in the midst of His People, He must act in harmony with His Own Nature; hence, He must judge sin in the camp of Israel with the same “fierce anger” with which He judged it in the city of Jericho. In both cases, that Judgment was death.
But if the judgment and discovery of sin be painful, and if there be faithfulness in dealing with it, then Grace gives both blessing and victory, and the valley of Achor becomes a “Door of Hope” (Hos. 2:15).
The valley of Achor was where Achan was executed for his sin and his refusal to repent, until forced by Joshua. Sin should be feared, and extremely so, but neither its bitterness nor its punishment should be dreaded; for if it is dealt with correctly, by confessing it to the Lord, then, as stated, the “valley of Achor,” which had been a valley of death, now becomes a “Door of Hope” (I Jn. 1:9).
The Christian fails when the Christian gets his eyes off Christ and the Cross and onto self, which denies such a one the help of the Holy Spirit. That being the case, the person is to be restored by telling them “why” they failed, and how, once again, to resume the road of victory, i.e., Christ and the Cross (Gal. 6:1).
Jesus Overcomes Satan
Read Numbers 26:1–65; Mark 5:1–14
Many people deny the existence of Satan; others live in fear of becoming possessed. Some dabble in the occult out of curiosity, often with disastrous results. None of these approaches to evil are compatible with Christian teaching.
New Testament writers acknowledge the presence of Satan and other demons and confirm the divine power of Jesus and His supremacy over evil in all forms.
He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”(Mark 5:7–8).
The devils acknowledged Jesus’ divine power. Jesus allowed the devils to enter a herd of pigs, and the pigs rushed over a cliff to destruction. The man was restored to complete health and, on Jesus’ instructions, returned to his home area to tell how much Jesus had done for him.
We, too, need to tell people about the power of Jesus and His divine supremacy over evil.
Prayer Suggestion: Father, deliver me from evil.
Quicklook: Mark 5:3–14
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