September 07, 2020

There's Always Someone

 Devotion for the Week...

My devotion writing summer break is over and I'm back today with my first new devotion in a while 😊 I may have had to remind myself multiple times this past week not to forget to actually type this up, lol.

I've been reading the Old Testament the past few months. I have to admit that I really struggle while reading the books in which the Israelites are taking possession of the Promised Land, because it means they're waging war against the people who were already living there. I have a hard time reconciling a God of love, mercy and grace with the God who tells Joshua that they are to completely destroy the towns, killing all of the inhabitants and burning the entire town, preserving only some things for the treasury of the Lord's house, as they did with Jericho in Joshua 6. I have no answers for why that happened or why God gave the orders He did.

Regardless of my issues with the story, God did give the orders. No one was to take any plunder from the city of Jericho. There would be opportunity later to fill their coffers and take things they wanted, but Jericho was not the place for it. But, of course, someone didn't obey the orders. It was a man named Achan, who decided that it would be okay for him to keep a few things he found in the city. When Achan's sin was discovered, he said, "It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest." (Joshua 7:20, 21).

There's always someone who feels they are exempt from the rules, isn't there? It doesn't seem to matter if it's a big rule or a small one, someone always feels like it doesn't really apply to them.

I am generally a rule follower, but I have to admit that there have been times I have just ignored a rule that didn't suit me. Have you ever done that? Whether it's because the rule is inconvenient or it just doesn't seem to make sense, some rules are hard (or impossible!) to follow. 

These days there are even more rules to follow, about masks and physical distance and travel and which way to walk through the stores. It's hard to keep up with them all, especially when things change as new information becomes available. It's inevitable there will be rules we disagree with or ones that we feel are silly. 

Sometimes, whether or not we obey a rule might not matter much. Like when the store is practically empty, there's no one in the aisle and I decide to dart halfway up to get the chocolate chips I need, rather than going all the way up the next aisle and back down the one I actually want to be in. Other times, the rules matter a lot - rules against stealing and murder and discrimination, for example.

Achan's sin might seem like a small thing. He just wanted some money and a nice robe, after all. But it wasn't what he kept that mattered. It wasn't even that he disobeyed Joshua, who had given the orders to the people. Rather it was that he disobeyed God, who had given the orders to Joshua to pass along to the people. Ignoring rules is not a great habit to be in, but it's an especially bad idea if the rules we're ignoring come directly from God.

Some of the rules God has given us can seem nearly impossible to follow. Rules like loving each other, forgiving each other and praying for our enemies. It can be tempting to think that we're exempt from forgiving that person who really hurt us, but we're not. Or we might like to think that we don't have to love that person who is constantly rude, but we're not exempt from that one either.

We are not exempt from any of God's rules |
Background quilt is Level Up

Come to think of it, we're not exempt from any of God's rules. "Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). If we love Him, we will keep His commandments.


  1. Thank you. I like reading your devotions each week.

  2. Thought provoking. It's good to have devotionals back!

  3. I struggle with those same passages... Yet, I have to remind myself that God is a God of love, even though I don't always understand his ways. Maybe those are questions that we'll have to ask him to explain when we get to see him!

  4. Thank You for taking the time to remind us we should love and care about each other.


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