Every Choice Consequential

“About three thousand men went [from Jericho to Ai]… and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. Then 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?’ The Lord said to Joshua,.. ‘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. Get up! Consecrate the people.’

Then Joshua said to Achan, ‘My son, give glory to the Lord. Tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.’ And Achan answered Joshua, ‘Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath…’ And Joshua said, ‘Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.’” Joshua 7:4-5,7,10-13,19-21,25

‘Just a beautiful cloak- what difference could that make? Oh, and a little (5 lbs) silver and (20oz) gold. But we took care of the people and captured the city; I did what you said.’ Yet Achan’s impulsive decision to transgress God’s clear command to “destroy the devoted things” and place any silver and gold as holy to the LORD into His treasury, by keeping some of Jericho’s treasure for himself, brought death to three dozen of his brothers. By taking these things in secret and hiding them, Achan assumed his choice was harmless, invisible, but God sees all and knows the rebel heart. He uncovers deceit and will not stand for sin that pollutes His people. (Numbers 32:23; Joshua 6:17-19; Jeremiah 2:19; Hebrews 3:13)

Clouds of summer, heavy w rain

Do my choices exalt God, or not? Do my expenditures, advice, leisure activities promote His will, or mine? Are there decisions I’m ashamed to reveal, and try to bury under a calm facade, a devious explanation, a meaningless excuse, or blaming another? Where has my neglect, hurry, flippant untruth, or deceit diminished my resolve and become the example emulated by those I influence, for their detriment? How have my careless words, disdain, or criticisms hurt others, harmed a relationship, broken a tender spirit, or stained another’s reputation? Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God, when he led you in the way?” How thoughtful am I before making intentional choices of word and deed? When we and others do suffer from lingering consequences of earlier, forgiven sin, we can trust God to heal over time and to use the hurt for ultimate good. (Jeremiah 2:17)

Father, I repent of my ungodly choices that have adversely affected me, others, and Your great Name. May I thoughtfully bring all I do and say to You, and work and serve always as unto You, for Your renown and glory. (Proverbs 3:5-6; Colossians 3:17,23-24)

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