I’m taking a class called History of Israel, which looks at basically Joshua-Esther in Israel’s history. Part of this class requires a reading of the Biblical text. I decided today that, even though I’ve heard these stories a million times, I was going to leave my heart open to be taught (thanks to something my teacher Mr. C said this morning in Foundations of Youth & Family ministry, about study time being devotion time if we let it).
Dude. I’ve learned two things already. I want to share one with you.
As I was reading, the influence of Rahab just stood out to me. One woman’s act of faith brought about the salvation of so many, and eventually the Savior was born out of her line. In Joshua 6, we find out that Rahab convinced her entire family to stay in her home with her and escape the destruction of Jericho. One woman (a harlot, no less) was able to influence those around her for God and His glory. Incredible.
The very next chapter, like three paragraphs later, in Joshua 7, we find out about a man named Achan, who disobeyed God and took some of the stuff from Israel that was very plainly marked to be dedicated to God. This displeased God, and because there was sin in Israel, when Israel fought Ai, 36 of Israel’s soldiers died, and the Canaanites no longer feared Israel–their conquest of the Promised Land just got a whole lot harder.
Achan influenced people negatively. His selfishness caused 36 women to be husbandless, 36 mothers to mourn their sons, and countless children to grow up without their blood father.
One person in each of these stories made one seemingly innocent and personal decision.
That decision influenced others in countless ways.
How are your decisions influencing those around you? Like it or not, as a follower of Jesus, people are watching you. You are influencing people. You are leading people with that influence either to destruction or life.
So which are you?