Devoted to Destruction

Along with several others at The Gathering, I’m reading through the Bible chronologically.  Today, I read the account of Joshua leading the people to take Jericho and came across his instructions.  He first told them that all within the city was devoted to destruction (people, animals, and everything but the gold).  I know that sounds harsh, but God often used His people to bring judgment on others who disobeyed Him just as He often raised up nations to defeat the Israelites for their disobedience (God is not capricious. He has reasons).  That’s for another post.

Anyway, after Joshua told the people to destroy everything and everyone except the prostitute, Rahab, he said this:

But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it.

Man, what good advice! How often I am tempted to take hold of that which is devoted to destruction.  I want what cannot last and fail to place value on what is eternal.  In so doing, I risk bringing destruction and trouble to my family, my friends, my church and anything else that I am close to and have influence on.

Most of the time, though, I am not even aware of it…it just comes naturally without even a thought.  I have to decide today to be alert to this fact and to choose to devote myself only to that which will last.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. [Matthew 6:19-21]