I was struck by something I read in the bible the other day from the book of Joshua. As God led the Israelites to take possession of the promised land, he gave them specific orders as to what they can plunder and what they should leave, or destroy. When the greed of one of the soldiers got the best of him, he disobeyed God and took some of the plunder that was slated for destruction. As a result, during the next battle, God pulled back his divine favor and the Israelites lost. In Joshua chapter 7 verse 12 the Lord shares this with Joshua. He said:
"That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction."
God then calls this one soldier out, and the Israelites stone him and his family to death so that the Lord would turn from his anger. You see, God pulled away because the Israelite’s sin and his holiness do not mix. Likewise, when we sin, we should never think that it will not affect our relationship with God, because it does. God tells Joshua that he will not be with the Israelites anymore unless he destroys whatever among them that is devoted to destruction. I challenge you, if you have sin in your life, do everything you can to get rid of it. Until you do, there is no way you can have a strong relationship with God, because sin and his holiness do not mix.
Sin and God’s holiness do not mix. When we sin, it drives a wedge between us and God. Sure, sin can be forgiven, but as I look at the story in Joshua, I realize that the character of God reveals how much he hates disobedience. He withdrew his favor from the Israelites until they “destroyed whatever among them that was devoted to destruction.” If you haven’t already, I think it is time that we take our sin seriously. I know it can be difficult to break bad habits and sinful addictions, but as believers, that is what we are called to do.