“Then the Lord turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of the place is called the Valley of Achor” Joshua 7:26
A familiar story in the Bible is of Joshua and the Israelites taking the city of Jericho. They conquor the city with God’s help and no problems. The next city to conquer was Ai, a much smaller city compared to Jericho. God had told Joshua not to touch anything in Jericho and all the things possessed belonged to Him. Yet, the other cities and its contents would be theirs for the taking.
Why was Jericho God’s? Because Jericho was the Israelite’s tithe to God. It is the principle of the first. God was teaching Joshua and the Israelites this life changing important principle. The first is God’s and the rest belongs to you.
The first redeems the rest. It is a very powerful principle. What is given first is never lost. What is not given first is lost. Jesus said for whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. (Matthew 16:25) This is why I encourage believers to not only tithe and give offerings but to ensure their tithe is the first thing given to God.
Here an Israelite by the name of Achan in Joshua 7 is found out to have stolen a cloak, silver, and gold. He stole this from God! Achan provides beautiful confession of how he stole it and what he stole and why. Today, we would have felt sorry for him. He was sorry yet God was angry. So much so, the Israelites lost to the small city of Ai and fled.
When the Israelites lost, Joshua inquired of the Lord and the Lord stated His anger. When Achan is exposed, the Israelites stone him to death and buried in the Valley of Achor. Achor means trouble.
When I read this, I thought about the many years of ministry of providing guidance and insight. I have seen people go from trouble to trouble, paycheck to almost paycheck, loss of home or car, etc. They did not heed the principle of the first. Touble became common. They said they loved God but their heart was far from Him. Jesus said where your treasure is, your heart is also. (Matthew 6:21)
I also have seen those who go through life not free from trouble yet when they come out of the fire, they come out not smelling of smoke. Their lives are not trouble to trouble but of blessing to blessing and increase to increase. Their lives are represented by the fact their heart and their treasure belong to God.
Are you in the Valley of Trouble? Has trouble become so common you can’t imagine the abundant life God desires to provide for you? Would you like to begin walking in the blessed Life God desires to provide? Begin by placing God first in your life today by the principle of the first – tithing. Give to God what is God’s – the first 10 percent of your increase or income – and watch what God does in your life!
Here are other posts which greatly accompany this post: