Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, LORD GOD, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all – to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! O LORD, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?” ~Joshua 7:6-9
In verses 1 through 5 of this chapter we read how Joshua and the Israelites attacked Ai without first consulting the Lord. They were defeat and several of the Israelites died. Here we see Joshua arrogantly ask, “Then what will You do for Your great name?”
This statement is arrogant because it implies that Joshua has the power to do something for the Lord that the Lord cannot do for Himself. It implies that Joshua and the Israelites must be able to succeed in order for the Lord to be glorified. It implies that the Lord is limited in the number of ways that He can glorify Himself.
How often have we thought or asked similar questions? Lord, if I don’t or can’t (fill in the blank) how will You be glorified? If I‘m not able to (fill in the blank) how will others see You? If I don’t succeed with my plans how will Your will be done?
I have asked God these many times and in asking I forget that God doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need any of us. Ouch! Pretty humbling, right?
The Lord may not need us, but He chooses us. And that choosing demonstrates His love for us. God could glorify Himself in more ways than we could imagine, but instead He use imperfect, sinful people – people like you, me, Joshua, the Israelites – to glorify Himself and show love for His people.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. ~Ephesians 1:3-5
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. ~John 15:16
The Lord chose us. Let us not be arrogant, but humbly remember that our job is to call on Him for guidance and instruction, to listen, and obey.
I hope my thoughts help you understand how some Old Testament scripture can be applied to our modern lives, but don’t just take my word for it. Dive into The Bible yourself, pray, and ask the Lord to reveal His truth to you.
Have a question or a thought? Please feel free to leave a comment.