One of the things I really enjoy about this bible art journaling thing is the way my brain engages with what I’ve read in a different way. I will often find myself waking up in the middle of the night chewing over the things I have read – and my little head is full of truth (and pictures). There is something about the creative aspect of this type of bible study that aids meditation for me. This particular phrase was one of those times where I woke up in the wee small hours and my brain was playing scrabble with words! Ha. It was so distracting that eventually I got up and found the scrabble letters and made this little crossword so that I could then go back to sleep. Funny old head. But what a wonderful truth to distract yourself with though.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the King of Ai, his people, his city and his land” Joshua 8:1
You see after Jericho the people of Israel immediately failed to play by the rules so they started to loose! They had only just stepped into the promised land, they’d only just seen God do an incredible miracle and already someone had blown it. But God sees everything – even what is hidden. Joshua doesn’t understand what has gone wrong so he prays and God shows him; which tribe, which clan, which family, which man, until the guilty party has been exposed – Achan the son of Zerah. God takes sin seriously! We are often fooled into thinking it’s not a big deal; a little white lie here, an unkind thought there, or in this case a covetous desire for a beautiful robe and a bit of spare cash! But God sees everything. And He knows that our sin not only hurts us by breaking our intimacy with Him, but it also hurts those around us. I love how Joshua encourages the guilty man to “Give glory to God” by confessing his sin. And I also love how once the problem is dealt with then they are straight back in to being on God’s team and winning. Repentance is so powerful. Saying sorry and turning back again to Him is always the victorious path. Our sin is far more serious than we think, but God’s grace is even more amazing! “Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged “ they are reminded. Put down sin. Put down fear. Pick up courage again and get back to receiving the promised land. For Achan his sin meant his death but for us…
“… the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23
What an wonderful truth to start this week with (and every week of my life). He has taken my sin and called me into friendship with Him, the one who whispers to me in the night – “Do not be discouraged , do not fear, come and play”.