"The Lord said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?" (Joshua 7:6).
So, I laughed this morning when I read this verse. God seems straightforward when He talks to Joshua. As a background to the story, the success of the Israelites against their enemies took a turn: after their success in taking Jericho, they do not have immediate success in taking Ai (verses 3-5). I think Joshua wonders what is going on all of the sudden.
Then, Joshua gets on his knees and prays. God speaks in return. How incredible it would be to hear His voice out loud! What happened was that the Israelites disobeyed God; they violated His covenant with them (verse 11).
God explains: "Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it" (verse 13).
Then, Joshua checked the different camps of the Israelites, and they find that someone has stolen and disobeyed God. The man who is found guilty is killed. This seems a depressing moment, but then: God turns from his "fierce anger" (verse 26).
When we pray to God, His responses can vary. Sometimes he says yes, no, and wait. Someone told me earlier this summer, though, that sometimes, God may be asking us to follow His last response to us. God always hears us, I believe, but I think sometimes He stays quiet until we respond to the last thing He told us.
God is so patient with us. I pray that we hear His Word to us today and are indeed changed.