They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. (Josh. 7:5)

Clearly the Israelite soldiers thought that they had this fight in the bag when Joshua sent them from Jericho to conquer the city of Ai. Not only is that clear from the spy’s response to Joshua when he asked them to do so, but also the literal translation of Ai probably reinforced their confidence. Ai means “heap of ruins.” God was on their side and the town was filled with Ammonite pagan worshipers who were standing in direct opposition to God. What could go wrong? Much, as they would soon find out.

You have freedom to do a lot of things but disobeying God and thinking that he wouldn’t notice is not one of them. Sin has a way of numbing you to reality. Perhaps the biggest letdown of sin is that it over-promises and under-delivers.

Despite all the media hype and clear hedonism in our present world, there are real consequences when our choices are not in line with what Scripture teaches. The effects of sin are real—not only to the person committing the sin, but also to those who are close to the situation. With God’s help, we must seek after the right thing in every situation or prepare for the impartial effects of sin.

Seek God and his Word to discover what’s good and right.

Devon Smith is district superintendent of the Tri-State District of The Wesleyan Church, and founder/director of the CROSS Training ordination program at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.