Joshua 7 part 2–The Hard Part of Leading

Joshua had no choice.  There was a member of his people that directly disobeyed God.  A nice cloak a bar of Gold and some silver seemed to be worth the lives of Achan’s fellow Israelites.  So, Joshua brought Achan out and asked for the truth. Achan confessed the goods retrieved and Achan, his family and all that he had were destroyed.  What a heartbreak.  God could not tolerate the sin and Joshua could not look the other way. 

This was truly the worst part of leading.God puts us in positions where we must decide between what is easy and what is right.  What is easy always feels great at first, but usually fails to address the problem and ultimately causes more harm than good.  As a person that loves and follows the Lord, one must seek Him and do the things that honor Him.  Sometimes that is heart-wrenching and painful. 

When we do follow the Lord, He will honor our choices and bless us.  Joshua did the right thing.  The people of Israel followed Joshua’s lead and the sin was dealt with and the people were able to move on.  That was part of being the shepherd of this people, and Joshua did that job very well.

God Bless You


So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel near tribe by tribe, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17 And he brought near the clans of Judah, and the clan of the Zerahites was taken. And he brought near the clan of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18 And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise[b] to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20 And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21 when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels,[c] then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and behold, it was hidden in his tent with the silver underneath. 23 And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel. And they laid them down before the Lord. 24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.[d]

I Samuel 31–A Sad End To a Sad Story

The reign of King Saul ended very unceremoniously.  He was soundly defeated by the Philistines–the enemy that he defeated when he started his time as Israel’s king.  He took his own life–he knew there was no good way for the battle to end and killed himself.  He lost his sons–they were all killed in battle as well. So the kingdom now lay in ruins and the royal family decimated.  But, the good news was that this was not the end.  It was only the end of the beginning.  Now that Saul was gone, David could become the king of Israel and lead them back to becoming God’s people and kingdom.
 
We must live our lives trusting and following God. When we try to live independent of God, our lives become chaotic and hopeless.  It is difficult enough to do life when we trust and follow God, but apart from him–well, we can do nothing that is either substantial or that will last. Jesus said it best in Matthew 6, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. If we will trust and follow God–we will have a meaningful life; apart from Him, however, we will have a sad end to a sad story.
 
God Bless You

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa. The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua. The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically.

Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcisedfellows will come and run me through and abuse me.”

But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. When the armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he too fell on his sword and died with him. So Saul and his three sons and his armor-bearer and all his men died together that same day.

When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled. And the Philistines came and occupied them.

The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the dead, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and they sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines to proclaim the news in the temple of their idols and among their people. 10 They put his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths and fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.

11 When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their valiant men marched through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.