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November 3, 2023



I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase buyer’s remorse. The phrase describes a feeling one can get after purchasing something where you, at first, were excited about the purchase but then you eventually feel like you’ve made a mistake in doing so. Has that ever happened to you?


Maybe it’s because you realize you don’t like the item as much as you thought you did. Maybe you’ve decided you want something else, instead. Perhaps you feel that you couldn’t afford the item and now you fear for your future. What if this doesn’t last? What if we don’t have enough later? Did I make a mistake? These questions leave us sometimes wishing we could go back in time and erase the purchase decision altogether.


In Joshua chapter seven the Israelites have just defeated Jerico. God has ordered them to destroy everything in the city. No looting. No taking souvenirs of the victory. All the sliver, gold, bronze, etc. were to be devoted to God. But one man couldn’t help himself.


But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. -Joshua 7:1


Achan took some of what was to be devoted to the worship of God. We don’t know why, exactly. Perhaps he was struck by the idea of hoarding these riches. His family had been wandering the desert for 40 years. Maybe they were poor, and this seemed like their chance! Perhaps Achan was concerned about his future wellbeing and wanted a safety net. For whatever reason, Achan sinned against God. Because of this, when Israel went up against the next enemy in the land of Canaan, God allowed their enemies to defeat them in battle.


6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! 8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?” -Joshua 7:6-9


Did you catch that? Remorse. At the time Joshua is unaware of Achan’s sin, but his response to Israel’s defeat is still noteworthy. Why did God bring them across the Jordan? How can they face such defeat? If only they would have stayed there. Safe. Unharmed. Comfortable.


We are one year into our Shaken journey at White Oak. Our church family is being shaken by God to step boldly into new things! We’re asking him to do things that only he can do by his power working in and through us. We want the name of Jesus to reach every person in our city. We want our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, and our classmates to come to know the full life which Jesus came to give us all.


One year in and I’m asking God to give us strength and courage. The cost of living isn’t getting cheaper. My vehicles aren’t getting newer. Can I afford to be stretched in my generosity and devote myself to God? Did I make a commitment a year ago that I’m unsure I can fulfill? Can I afford to make a commitment now? What would it look like to boldly step out and give more? I understand these questions. I’ve asked them myself. I even ask God whether this season is growing our church in discipleship and generosity.


I am a bit surprised by God’s quick response to Joshua’s cry of remorse. Before God reveals Achan’s sin, he says this to Joshua:


The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?” -Joshua 7:10


What a callout! God’s asking: What are you doing not trusting me? What are you doing worrying? Don’t you know that I will fulfill my promises to bless you? Be strong and courageous! Get up and move boldly!


If I’m being honest, I don’t yet know what to do with this learning from Joshua chapter seven. I feel compelled to do something about it. God is shaking us to trust. No regrets. No holding back.


Asking for strength and courage,

Nathan



Nathan Hinkle

Lead Pastor

White Oak Christian Church





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