So the LORD said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you like thus on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accused from among you.
“Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Santify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD GOD of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”
‘In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to the tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the LORD takes shall come according to families; and the family which the LORD takes shall come by households; and the household which the LORD takes shall come man by man. Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.'” ~Joshua 7:10-15
Have you ever struggled with an “accursed thing” in your life? Maybe the accursed thing is/was your love for chocolate. Maybe the accursed thing is/was your lazy desire to sit in front of the computer instead of being productive. Maybe the accursed thing is/was your lust for R-rated movies so that you can catch a glimpse of nudity.
I see the above passage of scripture as an illustration and a lesson for how we are to deal with the accursed things, or rather, the temptation in our lives. When Achan took from the spoils of Jericho he knew he was disobeying God and gave into temptation anyway (read more about Achan’s actions here). Chocolate, or the computer, or R-rated movies aren’t necessarily accursed things, but if we are feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit to rid ourselves of these thing then it is time to put these things away.
“You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.”
We cannot toy with our temptations. If we keep a temptation around we cannot defeat it!
If God, through the Holy Sprit, speaks to us and asks us to remove something from our lives – whether it be sweets, or TV, or Facebook – we need to obey and take those things out of our lives. Just as He knew what was best for the Israelites, God knows what is best for each and everyone of us. He wants to refine us and draw us closer to Him. Don’t we want that, too?
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.