“I’ve been looking at the Book of Joshua lately,” Stan commented one morning. “Last night I was focusing on one part about how the disobedience of one person had a huge impact on the rest of the people — and how the same thing can happen today with each one of us.”
“What same thing?” I asked.
“Disobedience to God has consequences and it can impact other people,” Stan said. “Seems to me that it’s better to not take that risk. With Joshua, a man named Achan took that risk and it cost him and others dearly.”
“What was going on?” I asked.
“Quick recap,” Stan replied. “The Israelites entered the Promised Land and began to take what God had promised them. The first battle was at the City of Jericho. As they obeyed God, they took the city.”
“Yeah,” I said, “the walls came tumbling down!”
“That’s it,” Stan replied, “but when they took Jericho, one man did something in disobedience to God that caused the Israelites to suffer defeat with their next battle.”
“What was that?”
“God had told the people to take nothing for themselves when they had victory over Jericho,” Stan said, “but a man name Achan took some stuff for himself. And that disobedience was costly.”
“In what way?”
“The Israelites lost their next battle at the much smaller city of Ai,” Stan replied. “Many of the soldiers were killed in battle. When God showed Joshua that they lost because of Achan’s disobedience, Achan, along with his whole family, was put to death.”
“So,” I said, “this guy’s obedience cost some lives a long time ago, but what does that have to do with anything today?”
“We don’t disobey God in isolation,” Stan replied. “What a person does in disobedience can and will impact others. For example, suppose a husband in disobedience to God is unfaithful to his wife. Do you see that how his disobedience can impact his wife, family, friends, and a whole lot of other people?”
“I do see that,” I replied. “And I guess I see that disobeying God is probably not worth the risk of impacting others.”
“You ‘guess’ that it’s ‘probably’ not worth the risk?” Stan said wit a smile. “I think it’s much more certain than that!”
Bible verses to consider:
But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, . . . from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel. Joshua 7:1.
I will not be with you any more unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst. Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, “Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for the Lord God of Israel has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.” Joshua 7:12-13.
Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, . . . but for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the obedience of Jesus in going to the cross so I could accept His finished work and have the assurance of spending eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, for all of the obedience you want for me as I walk with you on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not obey because that is what I choose. Please forgive the foolishness of that. And please, Father, help me in following every step of your lead into a life of obedience so I will draw ever closer to you in complete surrender to what you have and want for me. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted what Jesus accomplished through His obedience and know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when it’s time? If no, why would you want to spend eternity separated from God? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with being obedient while God keeps you on this side of eternity? Do you believe that your disobedience can and will impact others? Have you ever been impacted by the disobedience of another person? If so what was that all about? If you sense the need for greater obedience, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?