Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

Affecting the Body

God's personal interaction with each individual is a blessed fact. There is also found in scripture God's dealings with His people as a special group. He uses the most intimate "one flesh" experience between a husband and wife in referring to the relationship between Christ and the church

(Ephesians 5:31, 32). God said to ancient Israel, "thy Maker is thine husband" (Isaiah 54:5)

Another reference to His people is as His body. "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular" 1 Corinthians 12:27. As the body, whatever an individual says, does, or experiences will affect the whole. "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it" 1 Corinthians 12:26. We live in a time in which most deny their responsibility to or for others. There is claimed the right to do as one pleases as though no one else is affected.

Found in Joshua 6 and 7 is a compelling story which illustrates how profoundly an individual's choices affect the body. In following the particulars of God's directions, Joshua led Israel to a great victory over Jericho. With the taste of victory still present, Israel confidently took on the next town of Ai only to experience utter defeat. Unknown to the leadership, following the collapse of the walls of Jericho, one man, Achan, had succumbed to the temptation of helping himself to forbidden spoils. "And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads" Joshua 7:6.

Joshua could not understand what had gone wrong. "And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies. . . neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you" Joshua 7:10-12.

God said "Israel hath sinned" though it was one man, Achan. When we are identified as part of God's people, our behavior for good or ill, reflects on the whole. God's blessing could not rest on Israel while there was sin in the camp. Is there something in your/my life that prevents God's fullest favor to be shown to His people? Oh that we would each realize the magnitude of the blessing and responsibility of claiming the name of Christ.






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