- Chatper 7
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Destroyed (ch. 8:1 - 29)
Note in verse 1 that the first thing that
the Lord says to Joshua after the death of Achan and the defeat at Ai is
"not to be afraid or discouraged".
Both would be the natural tendency for any of us
after the events that just happened to Israel. Even though sin was found
in Israel, it was dealt with, and God is still on the side of Israel. This is important for the
Christian to know as well. God
does discipline His people out of love for us.
In the midst of such discipline, He will tell us like He told
Joshua, not to be afraid or discouraged.
The Lord doesn't stop at telling Joshua not
to be afraid or discouraged. He
tells him and his army to get up and attack Ai again.
There is a principle here. When
you fail, and especially if failure is due to sin or something you have
done wrong, you repent, make the necessary change, and try again.
You don't give up.
In verse 2 God tells Joshua that this time,
they can take a plunder from Ai, unlike His instructions concerning Jericho.
I will briefly explain the strategy that
Joshua used to attack the city of
Ai. To begin, he actually used
his defeat as part of his attack. Joshua
sent men to the west of Ai. They
would ambush the city and Ai's army at the appropriate time.
Joshua and his men went to the north east of Ai and camped the
ight. The army of Ai
noticed this and was on alert. When
Joshua went into the valley to the north east of Ai the army of Ai left
the city to pursue the Israeli army.
This is where Joshua used his defeat in the
last attack to his advantage.
When the army from Ai began to chase the Israeli army, the
Israelis turned around and ran back to where they came from as if they
were afraid. The kept
returning, and the army from Ai kept chasing them.
got far enough away from Ai, they stopped and Joshua lifted up his
javelin, which was the signal for his army to the west of Ai to attack
the city. They did just
that. They set the city on
fire. When the army of Ai
saw this, they were bewildered. Joshua
and his army thus attacked the army from Ai from one side while his army
that burned the city rushed in attacked the army from Ai on the other
side. The army from Ai was
trapped in the middle and was defeated.
went and killed all the remaining women, children, and livestock in Ai
and took a plunder for themselves. Victory
had now been won, but not after sin in Israel
was dealt with. Again,
there is something here to be learned for the Christian. Sin
simply hinders one from
living a victorious life as a Christian.
This battle, and some others that Joshua
led, have often been studied in military training.
has often looked back into their past to learn from past military
Covenant Renewal At Mount
(ch. 8:30 - 35)
If you read the last few chapters of the
Book of Deuteronomy, you will see that Moses gives Joshua specific
instruction of what they were to do once they entered the
of Canaan. One set of instructions
included building an altar at
and offering specific sacrifices. They
were to read the curses from the book of the Law on
and the blessings from Mount
Garizim. So here in verse 30 Joshua
begins to do these things in obedience to the Lord.
Verse 31 tells us that the altar was built
from uncut stone and no tools of iron were used.
Iron, being man made, suggests to me that this altar should have
no humanism associated with it. The
problem with much of Christianity is that it has always been too
humanistic. We do more of
what we want to do than what the Lord wants us to do.
There were two offerings performed at the
altar as seen in verse 31. One
was a burnt offering for sin, the other was a fellowship, or, peace
offering. This fellowship or
peace offering was actually the eating and sharing of bread among the
people, much like our Christian Communion.
From here to the end of the chapter Joshua
continued to do as Moses told him. He
separated the camp of
into two, one on the slopes of
and the other on the slopes of
Ebal. He then proceeded to write
the Law of Moses on a large stone tablet. I would think that would have
taken quite a while, then he proceeded to read the Law of Moses to all
the people, including women and children.
When it came to the blessings and the cursings as seen in
Deuteronomy 27 and following, the blessings were read from
and the cursings were read from Mount
It was important for this new generation of
Israelis to both know and understand how important these blessings and
cursings were. If
obeyed the Law, they would be blessed, if they disobeyed, they would be
cursed. More often than not,
did not obey the Law of Moses, and that is why they have suffered so
much throughout history.
At this point it is important to distinguish between
the Abrahamic Covenant and the Mosaic Covenant, also called the Law of
Moses. The first has no
conditions while the second has. The
first was a covenant made by God to God, the second a covenant made by
God to Israel. Simply put, in the
Abrahamic Covenant God promised Himself to bless and establish
forever. God will never
forget this promise. It will
come true. When it comes the
Mosaic Covenant that God made with
Israel, He will keep that covenant too. If
it wasn't obeyed, then
would be cursed. The curses
will reach their ultimate fulfillment at the end of this age.
All the curses in the Mosaic Covenant will have taken place by
then and the promises that God made to Himself in the Abrahamic Covenant
will come to pass.
will once again become a nation, and not just any nation, but the
leading nation of the world.
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- Chatper 7