Read Joshua 7 -- 8
In Today's Reading:
There is sin in the camp. One person takes what was to be dedicated to God and it leads to defeat, shame, and the death of 36 Israelite soldiers. You can be sure that your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23; compare Mark 4:22). Without first seeking God's will, our efforts will always be unsuccessful.
Verse for Today:
Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai . . . saying go up and view the country. . . . And they returned to Joshua, and said to him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai . . . for they are but few (Joshua 7:2-3).
Sin of Achan; Israelites defeated by Ai; judgment of Achan; then Ai defeated by the Israelites; altar built on Mount Ebal; Israel's Covenant with God renewed; all the words of the Law read.
Because the Israelites did not seek Him for direction in their first attack on Ai, God permitted them to experience a crushing defeat that left 36 Israelite soldiers dead. Since Ai's men seemed to be few, the Israelites assumed they could easily defeat Ai. Joshua needed a reminder that Jehovah Himself was their Captain, their Commander-in-Chief, and that He alone could issue orders that would result in success (see Joshua 5:13-15). More than six times in the first six chapters of this book it is said that the Lord directed Joshua (1:1; 3:7; 4:1,8,10,15; 5:2,15; 6:2). This is followed by a striking contrast when God was left out of their decision-making and consequently Israel was defeated (7:2-5). Following this tragedy Joshua . . . fell to the earth . . . before the Ark of the Lord (7:6), and prayed, and the Lord said . . . Israel has sinned (7:10-11). Sin within their camp had to be removed. Achan and his family were exposed as guilty and stoned to death by the whole congregation. Then the Lord gave a detailed plan to defeat Ai and said to Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai; for I will give it into your hand (8:18). This time, Ai and all the people were destroyed, but not one Israelite was killed.
It is just as important for us to know that we are in God's will as it was for Joshua and his army. Then Joshua read all the words of the Law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers (foreigners) who were conversant (living) among them (8:34-35).
God's blessings are not dependent upon a certain formula or pattern of the past, but on His sovereign will as revealed in His Word. All true victory depends entirely upon His guidance. Thanks be to God, Which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
A Thought from Proverbs: The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit (12:5).
Through the uncut stones of the altar (Joshua 8:31). Daniel saw Christ as a Stone which was not cut by human hands (Daniel 2:34). Jesus is our Chief Corner Stone (1 Peter 2:6-8).
7:5 in the going down = going down the hillside; 7:6 put dust upon their heads = an expression of humility and sorrow; 7:11 dissembled = acted deceitfully, lied; 7:19 give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD = I solemnly charge you to confess the truth, which honors God; 7:26 Achor = trouble; 8:14 wist not = did not know.
Government Officials: Justice Ruth Ginsburg and Gov. Don Sundquist (TN) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: United States (273 million) in North America · Major languages: English and Spanish · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 22% Roman Catholic; 17% other religions; 4% cults; 3% Jewish; 2% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers with a spirit of thankfulness and praise to the Lord (Psalms 79:13).
Optional Reading: John 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:14