Joshua 6:18—19; 7:1a, “And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD…But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing…”
The sublime victory of Joshua 6 is contrasted with the shameful defeat of Joshua 7. By God’s power the walls of Jericho had collapsed, and the Israelites were victorious. Also, by God’s power, the nation was soundly defeated by the small town of Ai. Just as obedience leads to victory, disobedience causes defeat. Part of their orders concerning Jericho was to not take any spoil from the city. God desires our first and our best of everything. Jericho was the first city taken in Canaan, and all of the spoil was to go into the treasury of the Lord, not the pockets of the people. Remember, at the center of Canaan’s conquest is not the Israelites. God is at the center. This is more about God keeping His promises and His covenant than it is about Israel. Chapter 6 reveals obedience as the secret to the victorious Christian life. Chapter 7 reveals what we must not have, and that is secret sin. While chapter 6 demonstrates what results from obeying God and trusting Him with the consequences, chapter 7 reveals the consequences when God’s Word is disobeyed. As 2024 begins, let’s recognize that to move forward God’s Word must be fully believed and followed, and this commitment must be renewed every day. With God’s Word being the lamp for our feet and the light to our path, we will be able to joyfully move forward together behind Christ.