25. Get Up Off The Ground
Joshua 7:10b "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?"
You can almost hear God’s exasperation with Joshua in all of this.
After the walls of Jericho fell and they saved out Rahab and her family, the Lord was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country. (From 6:27)
Someone in the camp had stolen things from their victories over Jericho. Joshua and the tribe were unaware of this offense against God. Then Joshua sent men to go against Ai. This turned into a disaster for Israel. Shame and fear prevailed in the camp after this defeat. Joshua complained to God for leading this people to this place and allowing a defeat like this. He even talked to God about defending His Own great name! their enemies will laugh them to scorn.
Joshua was wondering if he should have stayed on the other side of the Jordan. He had forgotten the great victory over mighty and impenetrable Jericho. How the Lord had wrought a win for His people and made the surrounding cities’ hearts melt like wax at the thought of the Israelites and their great God.
Joshua went so far as to say that these peoples surrounding us will rise up and cut off our name from the earth. He asked the Lord, “What wilt thou do unto Thy great name?” after all of this?
You could almost hear God say, “Hey Josh, it’s not what you think. I did not make a mistake and let you guys get your tails whooped. There is a problem in the camp. A soldier stole something he were commanded to destroy. That is why you couldn’t win this battle.”
I wonder how Joshua felt after learning this important piece of information? It must have taken the sting out of the hurt. Now he had to find the culprit.
Instead of sulking over his losses, Joshua was bewildered. He forgot what God had told him from the beginning. Courage is the most important character quality God wanted to develop in Joshua. God had not forsaken Joshua and the Israelites. God wanted Joshua to think outside of his box. He was the leader now with the most important secret weapon: God was on his side!
That victory over Jericho was fantastic and everyone was talking about it. The cities around them were afraid of the Israelites because of their God. Joshua seemed to have forgotten this point. He was bent over, on his knees or worse in a prone or even fetal position before God. If we didn’t know that God is a long-suffering God, it could have been embarrassing to God to see his leader acting like this: “Quit like a man! Stand up. There were losses! Yes. Now let’s find out why. Don’t let a defeat, defeat you! Remember Who I am and remember to come to me when you don’t understand what’s going on. If things look bad and you have done everything according to my words (commands), then find out why by coming to me. But not in this weak, sulking, feeling sorry for yourself way but by knowing who you are in me. You are the chosen leader. I have successfully led you to a major victory. It has made all your enemies here shake in their shoes! And now you chose to be afraid and second guessing yourself as to whether you should have crossed the Jordan? Joshua! Be the man I called you to be here! You do have what it takes when you remember I Am on your side!”
I think to myself: “How many times have I given up in despair? Especially after a victory? Do I expect everything to go my way after a victory? Am I putting my expectations on God and then I getting upset with Him when He doesn’t come through for me? Oh, how many times have I done this?” James 1:5-8 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
The lesson is obvious from our vantage point. But for Joshua, he felt the weight of the responsibility of his people on his shoulders. He forgot these were God’s people, not his. He was only in the position of leading them. He was chosen to be the physical leader, but God was their King. There’s a fine line. Joshua found that out. God had so much love He wanted to show His people.
Has God ever told you to get up, why are you lying on the ground hiding your face in the dust?
Ask God to show you what He was really doing, instead of the thing you thought He was doing.
Recently I was at a new doctor’s office. We had some great test results that showed the cancer was retreating. But this doctor spoke negative things over me without giving any promise for health, healing, or a cure. It was just how they handle that type of cancer there.
When Zack and I were pulling out of the parking lot, we were completely deflated. Did we ask for wisdom before going in there? Nope. We went in there expecting some help. Our faith was truly wavering and would have been tossed completely over if we did not stop in another parking lot to pray. What were we thinking going in without God’s wisdom? We had to repent, and it took most of the day to regain the faith that we needed to carry on. Our fears, and neglect to check with God almost got the best of us that day. I had been feeling better for a couple of weeks up until this appointment. After her words, I started having the symptoms she was speaking over me. I’m back to better health and a better attitude after remembering all that God had brought us through in the past. His mighty works had slipped our minds that day. It’s shameful to admit that we forgot Who we serve. We are seeking a second opinion after praying for wisdom.
Are you underestimating God and His abilities to remedy the situation you find yourself in? He can move mountains. He removed Jericho walls. He moved rivers. He is the God of the impossible. Joshua knew all of Moses’ stories. Joshua was one of the spies to give a good report about this land they were now in. Joshua had seen and heard many things that God did to help His precious people throughout their travels in the wilderness. Joshua had all kinds of first-hand accounts of how great a God he served.
Have you forgotten the amazing ways that God has rescued you? It’s time to write them down if you haven’t done that before. This is what this Psalm 77:10-12 says: “And I said, ‘This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings.’”
And that Psalm is a great reminder that God has been with you in the past, done amazing things as only He can do, and it is up to you to recall them, and to praise Him in the remembrance of them. Ask for wisdom and let Him lead you.
Get up off your face! And remember Who you serve and who you are in Him!
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