the book of joshua – remain

This is Day 15 of a series of posts for the month of October. I’m joining Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Friday for the annual Write 31 Days challenge.  I will write about themes found in the book of Joshua each day, with a different word prompt. 

Today’s prompt word is: REMAIN

It’s far too easy to read quickly past a phrase in Joshua 7:12, “I will not be with you anymore.”

Achan had sinned. He broke the covenant God made with his people by taking some of the devoting things for himself. This break int he covenant affected all of Israel, not just Achan. And that’s why they lost at the first battle of Ai. The Lord didn’t remain.

I can’t help but wonder if God being the one who fought for Israel during this time wasn’t intended for a developing of trust and dependance. This is not something that comes naturally for us. We depend on ourselves first. Then maybe those in our circle. But God is rarely our first go-to. So maybe their victories, that could only happen because God was doing the fighting, were intended to bring about a true dependance on the only One who was be depended on.

Because nothing should strike more fear int he hearts of God’s people than knowing he has left them.

I can’t help but wonder what it must feel like to God when we leave him.

God doesn’t leave us now. Under the new covenant, Jesus ushered in a new age where the Holy Spirit is left with us as a comforter, the veil was torn in the temple, and we have full access to God. All the time. I never worry he’s gone. I know he remains.

But I rarely remain.

While fear may have struck the heart of the men when they realized God wasn’t with them, I also am sure grief was, too. Joshua tore his clothes in grief when he discovered several of his friends had died in the defeat at Ai. 

God’s holy anger burned. And his blessing left them.

Grief must fill God’s heart when we don’t abide in him. Choosing instead to leave, we chase after the idols of our heart, just life Achan chased after his. We always have the option of remaining in God’s love thanks to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. God remains., no matter what idols I chase. He is the steadfast one, faithfully remaining to show me his love.

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