Joshua 6:17-19 « The city and everything in it is under the ban… But be careful not to covet or take anything that is under the ban; otherwise you will bring upon the camp of Israel this ban and the misery of it. All silver and gold, and the articles of bronze or iron, are holy to the LORD. They shall be put in the treasury of the LORD.” NAB
Probably the greatest example in the Bible of the principle of cherem is the taking of the city of Jericho in the time of Joshua, the servant of Moses. Israel had just crossed the Jordan river and entered into the promised land. The first city they were to attack was the fortified city of Jericho.
God placed the city, and everything in it, under the ban. He declared every object, every beast, and every human as cherem. As the first city in the Promised Land, Jericho was to become an offering of First Fruits to God.
Israel was successful in taking the city of Jericho, because God fought with them. However, one Israelite took some of the gold and silver and hid it in his tent. When Israel went up to attack the second city, Ai, they were terribly defeated and several thousand Israelites were killed in battle. (see Joshua 7)
God told Joshua that the reason for the defeat was because there was cherem in the camp of Israel. Israel has sinned: they have transgressed the covenant which I enjoined on them. They have taken goods subject to the ban. (7:11) And God said further on, I will not continue to be with you unless you remove that which is banned from among you. (v. 12)
Israel had a real hard time learning this principle, just like most Christians today. They had been living in the desert for so long and God’s blessings were pouring down on them constantly: bread from heaven, meat in abundance, and water gushing forth out of a rock. There were miracles day after day after day. But here was a new principle to live by: cherem. God decides what He wants His people to give to Him and they must respect that. If they do, they will be blessed. If they don’t, they will never be able to stand before their enemies.
We have strength in the realm of the spirit because of our integrity. When we touch the cherem we lose our integrity in the spirit realm and consequently lose our authority in that realm. So we turn our backs and run away from that which God gave us power to conquer and dominate. If the Church of Jesus Christ is weak today, it is because there is cherem in her midst.
Is there anything under the ban in your life? You have to realize that you cannot hide it from God, nor from the devil. You can hide it from your brothers and sister in Christ; but cherem is like rotting garbage in the spirit realm. It gives off an odour so strong that any spirit can smell it.
Get rid of it today!