“The hearts of the people melted, and became as water.” Jos 7:5
Even the most seasoned believers experience failure. And the big question at such times isn’t, “How could I have let that happen?” but, “What’s the right way to deal with it?” Indulging in self-condemning thoughts comes naturally to us, but it does no good. It just produces discouragement, and adds failure upon failure. As a result of Achan’s sin, Israel was defeated at Ai and fled before their enemies. Like us, in response to their defeat, “the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.” Their faith forsook them, and “all spirit [was] knocked out of them” (v. 5 TM). Even their leader Joshua “fell on his face” (v. 6 TM), despairing that things could only get worse! Have you been there? Do you recognize the pattern? Defeat, discouragement, despair, and more defeat. What was God’s response? “Get up. Why are you groveling? Israel has sinned…So get started. Purify the people” (vv. 10-13 TM). He’s a God of repentance—not wallowing in remorse; a God of getting up—not lying down in failure! Holiness is a path, not a place. When you’re off the path, God’s plan is simple—get back on it immediately. Confess your sin (See 1Jn 1:9). By faith accept God’s mercy and forgiveness. And refuse Satan’s condemnation (See Ro 8:1). “Forgetting those things which are behind…press toward the goal” (Php 3:13-14 NKJV). Like a child learning to walk, when you fall don’t lie down and give up. Minimize your down-time—get back up and walk again. Remember this: The moment that brings the awareness of sin should also bring the confession of sin and the assurance of forgiveness!