“O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? (Joshua 7:8).
Joshua was not aware of the aftermath of sin that came into the children of Israel and because of this, he had to face a huge defeat in the city of Ai. He was frustrated; shocked. Then Joshua tore his clothes, and along with the elders of Israel fell to the earth on their faces before the ark of the Lord until evening.
“So the Lord said to Joshua: ‘Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff” (Joshua 7:10, 11).
Joshua had been telling the children of Israel right from the beginning: “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (Joshua 3:5). The valuables stolen in Jericho were recovered from the home of Achan and because of this he and his family members were killed by stoning. After this, God commanded victory to the Israelites when they waged war against the city of Ai.
Bible says: “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). Whose prayer delights God? To whose prayer God answers? “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight “(Proverbs 15:8). “He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29). If your prayers are to listened, you need to be upright and righteous and put forth your requests with a right, standing before God. Solomon the wise says “He who covers his sins will not prosper but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).
Any sinner, when runs to God with a firm decision to get away from the evils, will definitely receive His mercy. “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18). The ways which God has laid to receive His pardon and mercy are not gruelling ones. God’s mercy can be received in an easy manner. “Look to me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).
May all your defeats transform into successes. When the children of Israel got rid of the burden of sin and cried for forgiveness, God did a miracle and gave them victory and He will do the same in your life too. The bitterness of your Marah will turn into sweet.
To meditate: “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him” (Psalm 62:8).