“Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you” (Psalm 84:12).
Read: JOSHUA 7:1-9
 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel.  Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.”  So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai,  who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.  Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads.  And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!  Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?  The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”
Reflect: WHAT BROUGHT DOWN GOD’S PEOPLE?
“I’ve never had a problem trusting God when things went bad” (said no one, ever). Each one of us, at some point in our lives, is faced with circumstances that don’t make sense, and sometimes make us wonder if what we believe about God is even true. Perhaps Joshua and Israel’s army should have checked what God wanted to do before deciding unilaterally (v 3). Either way, Joshua was faced with an outcome that made no sense to him whatsoever. Worse, it seemed to fly in the face of all that God had spoken to him, the promises of blessing and provision of a new land (see 7).What can we learn? Even in despair – and this was despair (see 6) – Joshua still turned to God. Think for a moment about your default reaction to extreme shock or disappointment. Do you run towards or away from God? Joshua turning to God was the key to him moving forward rather than being paralyzed by grief, disappointment or cynicism, because this enabled him to be open to what God would tell him.Take stock. Where do you find yourself today? Are you caught in the valley of a disappointment or strolling on the sunlit uplands of blessing? Whichever is the case, be like Joshua: run towards God.
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, (Psalm 42:5).
God, help me to move forward with You, opening my heart to whatever I need to hear.
Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.