Joshua 7:7 has been on of my favorite verses for many years. It’s Joshua’s cry to God after his massive defeat at Ai. God had given him a great victory at Jericho, but seems to have deserted him at Ai. You can find all kinds of reasons for this failure in the story. The Israelites were over confident after their success at Jericho. Ai was nearly a thousand feet above Gilgal and required a lot of work to get there and Israel was used to getting their food from heaven and knocking down walls by shouting. But, obviously the reason for their failure here was sin. Not Joshua’s, but Achan. He had no idea why they had been deserted by God.

I’ve felt like that, haven’t you? I’ve tried to understand what I’ve done wrong, why things haven’t worked out, how I’ve messed up, but a logical reason sometimes evades us. We are simply deserted by God at the time we need Him the most. If you’ve ever felt like that, then you too can identify with Joshua’s exclamation to God in verse 7. He falls to the ground groaning and says, “God, why did you even bring us across the Jordan river at all? We should have been content to live on the other side of the Jordan.” I’ve wondered why God has brought me to certain points in my life and wish I’d stayed where I was, sometimes physically and sometimes metaphorically. You know what I mean.

I’ve taken great encouragement from God’s response and have often considered it His response to me. I hope you can hear God speak to you in it. He says to Joshua, “Get thee up! Why are you lying thusly on your face. Take care of the problem and get on with your life. I’m still here.” 

We all have problems to deal with in life. God allows failure to discipline us, to correct us, to rebuke us, and often just to change our perspective and increase our faith, as is the case with Job. The point is, let the failure fulfill its divine purpose, trust God, and get up and go on with life.

So, I ask myself, “why do I lie thus upon my face?” God hasn’t gone anywhere.

“Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows.” Gal 6:7