“Answer my prayers, O LORD, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful.” Psalm 69:16
Israel wasn’t supposed to lose, and Joshua knew it. I think as believers, we can sometimes get accustomed to loosing and lose sight of the Truth that, “If God is for us who can be against us?” We aren’t supposed to be losers now any more than Israel was then. So, when Israel returned from such a great defeat by such a tiny foe, Joshua began to pray. He opened up his heart to God because he wasn’t about to be in denial. Joshua wanted to get to the bottom of it because he knew in his heart something had gone terribly wrong. Israel had missed something somewhere and he cried out to God for answers.
God answered Joshua right away, revealing to him that they had gotten out of order. They had just set up twelve stones as a memorial to what God had done in their lives, now the enemy was trying to get them off track. God was supposed to be first, and in keeping Him first, they were guaranteed the victory. God gave Joshua specific details and showed him exactly where things started going awry. Joshua immediately responded to God and took action to correct course. Israel then defeated all 12,000 men of Ai; the number 12 representing God’s divine order.
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5, was dealing with a different, but similar situation in that the Church at Corinth had gotten out of order. They were allowing sin to become the norm in the local church. They were “indulging” in sin, which is a lot different than just simply “missing the mark.” They were normalizing wrong behavior and were even somewhat celebratory about it.
Paul gave them strong, but loving words from the heart of the Father to help them get back on track. Paul knew that the Church at Corinth was not supposed to be a looser any more than Israel had been in Joshua chapters seven and eight.
Today, let’s keep an open heart toward our Heavenly Father. Let’s allow Him, through the Holy Spirit, to guide us and direct us, even when we get off course, helping us to live in His Divine Order. As we do, our adversary won’t be able to devour us in any area of our lives, and we will constantly live on the winning side.