“But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66:2b NKJV)
Beloved, we must guard our spirits from idolatry. Idolatry was what brought Israel to destruction. Ten Tribes of Israel refused to stop worshipping and mixing with other gods and thus were taken into captivity first. As we look at the remaining two tribes, and the descendants of David, we see these kings removing the idols from the low places, but many left the idols in the high places.
Leaving these idols in high places was what caused the final one-two punch that brought the whole nation of Israel into captivity as Babylon took over the remaining two tribes (Judah and Benjamin). It was idolatry that caused Israel to fall.
In Joshua Chapter seven we see how devastating idolatry can be to a whole nation. In this particular case the whole nation of Israel suffered because of one man.
“But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.” (Joshua 7:1 NKJV)
One man’s idolatry caused the Lord’s anger to burn against the whole nation. As you continue to read Joshua chapter seven you can see that they lost a humiliating battle against the Amorites. This particular battle was supposed to be an easy one. Joshua could not believe it; he tore his cloths and asked the Lord some hard questions. In Joshua 7:10-13
“10 So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13 Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.” (NKJV)
Joshua got up and immediately got to work trying to find this idol that caused such devastating defeat. He went tribe-by-tribe and family-by-family until he found the man that caused such humiliation. Joshua 7:19-26 tells us:
“19 Now Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.”
20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.” (NKJV)
When we go after idols we are affecting our own families, our communities and even our nation. Here we were able to see the devastating effect of the idolatry of one man. When our spirits are consumed with idolatry, we can’t have victory over the giants in our lives (Joshua 7:12) and we can’t experience God’s manifested presence (Joshua 7:12)
An independent thinker with a profound call to see the orthodoxy of the church and passion for Christ manifesting together. Angel was born in Brooklyn, New York in April of 1968, he was raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico where he earned his B.S. degree in Sociology with a minor in Education from the Inter American University in San Germán in 1991. That same year he moved to Jacksonville, Florida. After working construction jobs for a year and learning the English language, his first job working with foster-care children in the capacity of youth care worker was with Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary in September of 1992. With JYS he was promoted several times as group home supervisor, legal caseworker, and program director.
While in Jacksonville, Angel studied a couple of martial arts styles. After earning his black belt, he became the founder of Good Fight Ministries as he used martial arts as an instrument to preach the gospel. In 2004 Angel was selected Martial Arts Instructor of the Year for the State of Florida and in 2005 Angel was inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame where he also received the Christian Spirit Award. In July of 2005 Angel accepted his call to pastor a bilingual church in Winton, NC where he served for a couple of years. Five months later he lost his first wife to cancer in December of that same year. This initiated a deep valley of suffering in his life, a mountain of costly mistakes and the embracing of lifestyles of sin that are well documented through this blog.
In August of 2012 Angel moved to Fairbanks Alaska with his wife Rayette Casiano and six children who are now adults. In Alaska, Angel continued his social work-related career and his ministry of preaching, teaching and writing. Angel is the author of two books, Hope for the divorcee: Forgiving and Moving Forward and 7 Banderas de Esperanza: La Bendición de Yokdzonot. In January 8th of 2020 Angel and his wife moved to Arizona.
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