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March 3 – Repentance is a condition of fellowship with God

“I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.” – Joshua 7:12b

Scripture reading: Joshua 7:2-13 

Joshua didn’t know what had happened, but when God didn’t go with Israel’s soldiers when they went to fight against Ai, he tore his clothes and put dust on his head and fell on his face before the ark of the Lord, together with the elders. It never occurred to him that it might be Israel’s fault. He pointed the finger at God, Why have You brought these people over the Jordan, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us?

The LORD was having none of that. He told Joshua, Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? There’s a special stress there on you: Joshua, you of all people should know better than this! Do you really think that I would break My Word? This didn’t happen because I broke My promise. Israel has sinned; they have transgressed My covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. That’s why they can’t stand before their enemies: because they have become devoted to destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.

Israel had committed adultery and there was only one way to restore the relationship and receive their inheritance in the promised land: repentance, and just judgement. We cannot live in fellowship with God unless we are cleansed of our unfaithfulness.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord that He calls you to repentance and provides atonement for your sin and an open door to life with God, through the death of Jesus Christ.

Rev. Dick Wynia is currently the minister of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, ON.

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