A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: The Cursed Thing (Joshua 7)

"And the sons of Israel have not been able to stand before their
enemies; they have turned the back before their enemies because they
have become cursed. I will not be with you again if you do not destroy
the cursed things from among you.  Rise up, sanctify the people, and
you shall say, Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow. For so says Jehovah,
the God of Israel, A cursed thing is among you, Israel; you are not
able to stand before your enemies until you take away the cursed thing
from among you." (Josh7:12-13)

Two weeks ago we observed God's refusal to hear the rebellious
idolator. Last week we saw how putting repentance into action is called
for. That if we have been unequally yoked with unbelievers, God calls
us to separate ourselves from them, or to remove the uncleanness from
our worship. But perhaps, there is the temptation to 'let things
slide', and hopefully God will "forget". After all, God's 'graeeesss'
will cover our 'weakness'. After all, it's "soooo haaard!" God wouldn't
curse an entire congregation for one eentsy, weentsy, teeny, weeny,
tiny little 'indiscretion'??? Do you reeeeeally think He would??

After all, I don't -worship- the 'cross' I wear on my necklace. By 
wearing it -I'm- letting everybody know that I'm a "Christian".  
[Editor: FYI, satanists wear crosses, too, as part of their ritual 
attire]  I don't turn and bow to those pictures of 'Jesus' on my wall.
You're going just a bit 'overboard' with all this! It's not idolatry
-IN-MY-CASE-.

[Editor: Remember that the command said not only to "not bow", but also
to not -have- "make...any likeness" Ex20:3-4  Also remember that when
Moses was exhorting Israel about their worship, he warns them to do
their sacrifices in God's prescribed manner, at God's prescribed
place, NOT DOING "all that is right in [their] own eyes" -Deu12:8]

Out of Israel's millions ONE MAN decided to disregard the ban. As they
took Jericho, they were to NOT take any plunder for themselves,
personally. He took and hid it in the dirt in his tent. Awe...nobody
will know. This is what the leaders of Israel were doing, and what
people in the "church" today are saying, as they "..do in the dark, 
each man in his image room? For they are saying, Jehovah does not see 
us..." (Ezek8:12)

Look what he lusted after, "When I saw among the spoil a goodly robe of 
Shinar (Babylon), and..silver and..gold..I lusted after them and took 
them." (Josh7:21)  Oh, but... these people contribute half the church's 
budget! If we kick them out, we won't be able to pay the bills. Oh, she 
sings soooo beautifully! Or...if he leaves, who will play the organ for
services? He went to Juliard... such beautiful talent going to waste.

But when "Babylon" was "hidden away in the tent", Israel was defeated
at Ai.

If a person is in a predominantly unregenerate congregation, we are
exhorted to "..come out of her [Babylon] My people, that you may not be
partakers of her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues."
(Rev18:4)

If the congregation is "Christian", but Babylon is hidden in the tent,
the assembly is to "purge out the old leaven", "deliver the one to
satan" and "put out from you the evil one." (1Cor5)

Perhaps you think this sounds drastic? Remember God's Word to Israel:

A cursed thing is among you, Israel; you are not able to stand before
your enemies UNTIL YOU TAKE AWAY the CURSED THING from among you."
(Josh7:13)  The evil must be purged out, "stoned, burned" and pile up a
mound of stones over it. (vs25-26)  Root it out as one does weeds out
of the garden.

Amen!