Joshua 8:1-2 “Now the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.’”
What a setback! This bunch, under Joshua’s leadership, come to the second city in Canaan and get whooped! They get run off. Thirty-six men die as they turned their backs and ran from the men of Ai. But what Joshua didn’t know was there was sin in the camp. Achan had taken forbidden spoil and the nation (yes, the entire nation) suffered.
So, here we are in chapter 8, and God sends them back to Ai but with a different battle plan. God is saying, “You aren’t done, yet. You just have to obey me, and I will be with you.” In the same way, God tells us today, “Get back up! Listen to me this time. I will give you instructions on how to be successful. But you have to obey me.”
If this isn’t a perfect story to teach obedience to our kids, then I don’t know of one. How much more clear could it be for our kids? Read them chapters 7 and 8, though. They need to see the whole story. They need to see that God gives specific instructions for us. We don’t have to guess what He wants us to do. It is very clear.
When we obey the Father, He fights for us. When we disobey, we suffer the consequences and can even cause others to suffer. That is why we, as parents, must be clear with our discipline. We are teaching them spiritual truths through our parenting. Or at least we should be doing that.
Are you following the Lord’s instructions? Are you being obedient to what He has called you to do? Or are you intent on doing things your own way. I truly believe that we don’t fail God’s tests. We just repeat them until we get them right.