Restoring Covenant

“Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel.” (Joshua 8:30–32, NASB95)

How do you recover from an epic spiritual failure? The answer is simple; return to God and start over again. Joshua and the nation of Israel entered the land of Canaan and sanctified themselves with circumcision and celebration of the Passover. Joshua followed God’s commands, thus defeating Jericho. And yet, in the next battle, they experienced epic failure at Ai because of the unfaithfulness of Achan, who stole from God. After recognizing that there was sin in the camp, they destroyed Achan and all that was associated with him because everything he touched was contaminated with his sin. Having removed Achan’s reproach, Israel incurred God’s favor and finally defeated Ai.

Following the victory at Ai, Joshua was determined to fulfill the commands of Moses by establishing a nation that was grounded in the commands of God. The hope was that by setting up an altar for sacrifice and rehearsing the Word of God, they would not repeat the same failure of unfaithfulness. Joshua took the nation to Mt Ebal and Mt Gerizim, about 20 miles north of Ai, to reestablish the covenant relationship between Israel and Yahweh God. Joshua first built an altar to offer a sin offering and fellowship offering. Then Joshua wrote the law on stones, the same way that Moses received the law from God. Finally, Joshua separated the tribes of Israel into two groups, six tribes on Mt Ebal and six tribes on Mt Gerizim, to read the law to all the people so they would know the blessings of God and the curse for those who disobeyed. This was a spiritual reset for the nation as they launched into a new life in the Land of Canaan.

It is necessary, when restoring a relationship with God, to reestablish a covenant relationship with Him. When the child of God returns to God, the first step is to confess and repent from your sin. When David was restored from his failure with Bathsheba, he prayed, “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7, NASB95) The second step is to return to fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship offering was to celebrate relationships. Regular practice of communion is one way to remember our fellowship with Jesus’s atoning sacrifice. Lastly, read the Word of God and apply it to your life. Spending time hearing and reading the Word of God will guide you in your life. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NASB95)

We will all fail and act unfaithfully towards God from time to time in our spiritual journey. Failure is no longer failure when you seek spiritual restoration with God. True failure is to remain separated from God because of your love for sin, leaving you with a life of suffering outside of God’s prescience and blessings.

In His Service,

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