Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another Opportunity to Praise

When Joshua and the Israelites conquered Jericho, Achan's heart lusted for the treasures of the city. Contrary to God's command he took a few, but knowing his transgression, he hid them. They were not hid from God, who can abide no sin, and when the Israelite army attacked Ai easy victory turned to quick defeat. Joshua fell on his face before the Lord, crying out and asking why God would bring them into the land of their enemies and so quickly abandon His people. Then Joshua asks, "And what will You do for Your great name?" (Joshua 7:9)

God, more than any man, more than Joshua, is vigilant for the honor of His name. God is so vigilant for the honor of His name that He requires a holy people, a people in whom there is no sin. And so, by the luck of the draw - guided by a Divine hand - Achan is found among the Israelites. What struck me when I read this the other day were the first words from Joshua's mouth:
"My son, I implore you, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him; and tell me now what you have done." (Joshua 7:19)
Your hidden sin is laid bare for all to see? Give glory to the LORD and praise Him. Here at our house we deal with a lot of sin. Six sinful hearts trying to keep our sins a secret, but there are no secrets from God and not many you can keep from your family. One of our children lied to us, and lied to us again and again, a regular pattern of deceit. When Bryan and I realized what had happened, glory to God and praise were not the first words from my mouth. My end of the conversation went something like this, "How can this have happened (wail)...what if...what if...what if all of the worst spiritual consequences I can imagine fall on this child? What will we do?" Bryan was far more calm and level headed, but I admit, he wasn't glorifying and praising God.

But maybe we should. Maybe our first response to the raw ugliness of sin should be glory and praise. Glory to a God so holy He cannot stand sin. Praise because when sin is laid bare confession can follow, and God promises forgiveness and cleansing. (I John 1:9)

I think this cuts deepest when I apply it to my own heart. I'd like the world to think I'm perfect, I like my sins in the darkness and when the light shines I'm more likely to be angry and humiliated than anything else.

Give glory and praise to the LORD. I think we will have ample opportunity.

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