Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Israelites enter Canaan victoriously under the leadership of Joshua. An altar to the Lord God of Israel is built at which mount? What was read to Israel is very important for us to know.
One of the most remarkable victories in Israel's history is achieved by the complete destruction of Jericho without having even one Israelite casualty. However, the following day, assuming continued success, Joshua sent spies to assess the strength of Ai. Their recommendation to Joshua expressed even more confidence of victory than when they marched around Jericho for they said: Let not all the people go up . . . and smite Ai . . . for they are but few (7:3). Without seeking instruction from the Lord (7:2), Joshua with his "committee" formed their plan for overthrowing Ai.
Three thousand Israelites fought thinking it was God's battle but it was without His assistance. Thirty-six men died in this disastrous battle which ended in Israel's defeat. One of the most alarming aspects of this downfall is the revelation that Joshua and all the people were unaware that the Lord was no longer with them. No one seemed to have had the least suspicion that Jehovah had withdrawn His blessing from Israel.
Joshua is 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 had to confess that he was guilty of bringing defeat on his countrymen. However, in His wisdom, God 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 6:2-5 and where God gave the orders 7:2-3.
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 (Jeremiah 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 (Proverbs 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, saying: Without Me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).
Thought for Today:
Even the strength of Samson is useless without the power and presence of God. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:17).
Through the uncut stones at the altar (Joshua 8:31). Daniel saw Christ as a Stone which was not cut by human hands (Daniel 2:34,45). Jesus is our Chief Corner Stone (1 Peter 2:6-8; Matt. 21:42).
7:5 in the going down =b> on the way down the hillside; 7:6 put dust upon their heads =b> an expression of humility and sorrow; 7:11 dissembled =b> acted deceitfully; 7:19 give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord =b> confess the truth, which honors God.
Pray for The Bible Pathway Printer: Ambrose Printing Staff, Nashville TN • Government Official: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg • Country: Greece (10.5 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Greek and English • Government restrictions on witnessing to others about Christ • 87% Orthodox; 8% Old Calendar Orthodox; 2% Catholic; 1.2% Muslim; .5% Jehovah's Witness; .3% Protestant; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Do not worry about your material needs (Matthew 6:25-30).
Optional Reading: John 6
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:15