Read Joshua 7 - 8
In Today's Reading:
Sin of Achan; Israel defeated by Ai; judgment of Achan; Ai defeated; altar on Mount Ebal; Covenant renewed; Law read
The Lord held back the waters of the Jordan River at the time of year when the Jordan River normally overflowed its banks and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground into Canaan (Joshua 3:6-17). After their victory over Jericho, the Israelites rejoiced. However, without seeking direction from God, they attacked the city of Ai and the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even to Shebarim, and smote them in the going down (on the descent or slope) (7:5)
Nine times in the first six chapters of this book it is said that the Lord had directed Joshua (1:1; 3:7; 4:1,8,10,15; 5:2,15; 6:2). By not consulting the Lord this time, Israel's defeat was inevitable (7:2-5). Joshua had momentarily failed to consider that the Lord Himself was their Commander-in-Chief, that He alone could issue orders that would result in success (1:5). First, the evil sin by Achan had to be judged. Then, Joshua called on the Lord who directed him in the complete victory over Ai.
The Israelites' reasoning that led to their defeat at Ai has been repeated by most of us. When no serious problems seem to exist, we become overconfident, seemingly self-sufficient, and assume the Lord expects us to use "our own good judgment." However, apart from our submission to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, the smallest temptation will prove to be too powerful for us. He alone imparts discernment and guidance as we read and desire to obey the Word of God.
Many begin their Christian lives in prayer
and daily Bible reading but eventually become self-confident and forget that pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall
(Proverbs 16:18). We don't win our victories just because we are Christians any more than Joshua won the battle at Ai because he was an Israelite.
The Word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder (in two) of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner (judge, critic) of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12)
7:5 in the going down = on the way down the hillside; 7:6 put dust upon their heads = an expression of humility and sorrow; 7:11 dissembled = acted deceitfully; 7:19 give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord = confess the truth, which honors God.
Through the uncut stones of the altar (Joshua 8:31). Daniel foretold Christ as a Stone which was not cut by human hands (Daniel 2:34,45). Jesus is the Chief Corner Stone (Head stone) (I Peter 2:6-8).
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Bonnie Wilhite · BPM Staff: Allen Joslyn · Government Official: Justice Ruth Ginsburg · Country: Peru (27 million) on the western coast of South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Open to evangelism and Bible distribution · 89% Roman Catholic; 4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray with a heart of righteousness, keeping the truth of God, and know He will hear your prayers (Isaiah 26:2).
Optional Reading: John 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Colossians 2:9