Lent Reflections on Bible Prayers 4 – Joshua

Lent Reflections on Bible Prayers 4 – Joshua

Joshua 7:6-9

After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the people of God stood on the hills on the east of the Jordan River looking at the land God had promised to them.   Joshua led the people across the river and God miraculously brought down the walls of the city of Jericho.

The people scouted out the next city, called Ai, and expected that the obstacles would be similarly removed.  In fact, the Israelites were chased away and 36 of them were killed.

So Joshua mourns (tears his clothes, sprinkles dust on his head) before God – for a whole day.  He is honest about how he is feeling (“Why …?” and “If only …”).  Even though he knows he “shouldn’t” be saying things like that and needs to apologise, God knows what is in his heart better than he does anyway.

To grieve and to deal with the ugly thoughts within him, Joshua comes to the “ark of the Lord.” The ark was a special box that contained the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s staff, and a jar of manna – the food that God had provided in the desert (Hebrews 9:3-4).  These were all symbols of God’s covenant – His promises and commitment to the people.  So this was a safe place to grieve and be honest.

In the end, Joshua is finally able to realign himself to concern for God’s name and His kingdom.  It is only when things are properly aligned – when God’s name is hallowed, His kingdom comes and His will is done on earth – that every tear will be ultimately be wiped from our eyes.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted … Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:4,6)

Suggestions for prayer and praise

Is there something that you have not been honest with God about?  Take time and courage to lay it out before God.