Read Joshua 7:1
Sin of Achan; Israel defeated by Ai; judgment of Achan; Ai defeated; altar on Mount Ebal; Covenant renewed. What was read to Israel is very important for us to know.
One of the most remarkable victories in Israel's history was the destruction of Jericho in which there had not been one Israelite casualty. Afterward, Joshua assumed continued success when he sent spies to assess the strength of Ai. Upon their return, they confidently said: Let not all the people go up . . . and smite Ai . . . for they are but few (Josh. 7:3). Joshua and his "committee" did not seek instruction from the Lord but formed their own plan to overcome Ai.
Three thousand Israelites fought Ai presuming God was with them. Thirty-six men died in this battle which ended in Israel's defeat. One of the most alarming facts of this downfall is that Joshua and all the people were unaware that the Lord was not with them in this battle.
Joshua was quick to blame God for this shocking defeat (7:7). But God said: Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed My Covenant. . . . Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies (7:11-12). Achan, a soldier of God at Jericho, confessed that he was guilty of bringing defeat on his countrymen. However, God, in His wisdom, exposed the fact that Israel hath sinned, they have transgressed.
Joshua and his "committee" — not the Lord — unanimously decided what action was to be taken, which resulted in failure. It is important to see how often the Bible records: The Lord spake unto Joshua . . . Arise, go (1:1-7; 4:1,8,10,15; 6:2 etc.). We see the alarming contrast between Joshua 6:2-5 where God gave the orders and Joshua 7:2-3 where Joshua decided what he thought should be done.
The prophet reminds us: O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps (Jer. 10:23).
Furthermore, we need to obey the Word that says: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).
It is possible to be caught up with much activity in service but fail to pray and wait upon Him for guidance. In the defeat at Ai, we see the meaning of the words of our Lord Himself: Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
Thought for Today:
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6).
Through the uncut stones at the altar (Josh. 8:31). Daniel saw Christ as a Stone which was not cut by human hands (Dan. 2:34,45). Jesus is our Chief Corner Stone (I Pet. 2:6; Matt. 21:42).
7:1 the anger of the Lord was kindled against the Lord was furious with (7:26); 7:6 rent tore; put dust upon their heads, expressed intense sorrow by defiling their heads; 7:9 environ us round surround us; against before; 7:11 dissembled received; 7:13 sanctify consecrate, cleanse, make undefiled; against before; 7:18 taken chosen; 7:26 Achor trouble; 8:11 pitched camped; 8:13 liers in wait concealed ambushers.
Pray for Government Officials: Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (WV), and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg • Country: Andorra (78,000) in the eastern Pyrenees between France and Spain • Major languages: Catalan and French • Official freedom of religion • 94% Christian; 4% non-Religious; .6% Muslim; .9% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask to be guided by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16).
Optional Reading: John 6:1
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 1:1