Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 03/15/2004

March 15

Read Joshua 7 -- 8

In Today's Reading:

Sin of Achan; Israel defeated at Ai; judgment of Achan; Ai defeated; altar on Mount Ebal; Covenant renewed; Law read

At the time of year when the Jordan River overflowed its banks, all the Israelites passed over on dry ground into Canaan (Joshua 3:6-17). After their victory over Jericho, but without seeking direction from God, the Israelites attacked the city of Ai. The men of Ai smote . . . 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, 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 of stealing what belonged to God 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 as we read and desire to obey the Word of God. Many begin their Christian lives in prayer and daily Bible reading but eventually they become self-confident.

The Word of God is quick (living), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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)

Word Studies:

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.

Christ Revealed:

Through the uncut stones of the altar (Joshua 8:31). Daniel saw Christ as a Stone which was not cut by human hands (Daniel 2:34,45). Jesus is our Chief (Head of the) Corner Stone (I Peter 2:6-8).

Prayer Needs:

Government Official: Justice Ruth Ginsburg · Country: South Africa (43 million) on the southern tip of the African continent · Major languages: Afrikaans and English · Religious freedom · 67% Protestant; 20% animism, magic, and ancestor worship; 10% Roman Catholic; 3% Asian religions · Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers be praise to the Lord (Psalm 150:6).

Optional Reading: John 6

Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:16

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