I’m training for a new job which uses similar software of my other job. I was delighted to hear this and thought how convenient that would be in many ways, thinking I could use the same for both jobs and I’d be a step ahead in the training process because I was familiar with how to use it. When I clicked on my already installed program, I discovered I couldn’t get to where I needed to go for training. Bummer. This meant I would have to have two separate operating systems and one computer won’t support that. True, I’m familiar with the software so that part of the training will be easier, but another computer is a necessity. Convenient quickly became inconvenient.
In the quest to plant their feet in the Promised Land, Jericho was the first city designated to be taken. In Joshua 6 the Israelites were specifically instructed that after the walls of Jericho fell they were to kill every living thing in the city (with the exception of Rahab and her family) and to take nothing except certain things God instructed them to take (6:18-19).
Take nothing. Take nothing. They were told not to even look upon the plunder so they wouldn’t want it. Apparently that wasn’t direct enough for Achan (7:1) who loaded up what he shouldn’t have. When they got back to their camp God told Joshua the people had been disobedient and to go through family by family until the unfaithful one was found then burn what he took, everything he owned and kill his family, which is what Joshua and the Israelites did.
The punishment seems a little harsh for the crime, doesn’t it? I mean, a whole city had just been destroyed. They killed every living person and animal. They gathered what God said to gather. What’s a little extra? Who would know? So one person out of thousands disobeyed which had an effect on the rest of the people.
The second generation of Israelites were wandering in the desert, having grown up in the wilderness with no material possessions but the clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet. It was all they knew. They come into this destroyed city which God says is theirs and see all this stuff (although fire damaged) so from a human perspective, it’s easy to understand why they would be attracted to picking some of the spoil left behind and in another case that may have been fine…but God said to take nothing.
Sin and obedience, even when we think it’s insignificant and won’t affect anyone, are incompatible. We may get away with our compromise for a little while but sooner or later if we don’t deal with it, God will. To many living in the 21st century, this seems ridiculously harsh but these stories are in our Bibles to show who God is and how He deals with His people and (especially) willful disobedience.
Incompatible things won’t cohabitate well. Try as we may to make them work, there is a glitch…an uneasiness…even if it looks and acts like it works. Just like the software I mentioned, I probably could have found a way to make it work, but I was told I needed two separate applications of the program so I made the decision to get another computer. Rather than bring problems upon myself and more importantly jeopardize the new job and maybe even my current one, I decided to be obedient.
If there’s some little persistent thing in our lives we think doesn’t matter rest assured, it does. It could be the thing that robs us of the peace Jesus so wants to be ours. More importantly, though inconvenient and perhaps embarrassing to deal with, our ultimate goal should be to live to please God, be obedient to Him so far as we can control.
Let’s do an inventory. Where have we compromised? What have we watered down? What have we brought with us that we know we shouldn’t have? Our obedience could very well be the gateway to our next blessing. Don’t risk it. Deal with it. When we do and ask for forgiveness there may be lingering consequences but there will always be God’s mercy and grace to help us through making it right.