Joshua 7:1-9 — Israel Defeated at Ai
Joshua 7:10-26 — The Sin of Achan
Joshua 8:1-29 — The Fall of Ai
Joshua 8:30-35 — Joshua Renews the Covenant
Joshua 9 — The Gibeonite Deception
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One Reply to “Feb 19 — Joshua 7-9”
The wars recounted in the Old Testament are difficult to read in the wake of current news of wars. There have always been battles going on around the globe, most of which we are unaware. News media outlets chronicle the battles daily and many are aware thanks to the advent of the internet and surrounding technologies. Still, there is no joy in reading about death and destruction.
This section of scripture might be titled, “A Fool, Superb Military Strategy and Gotcha!”
The fool, Achan, kept plunder from the battle of Jericho against orders, was eventually discovered and stoned to death by “all Israel” (Josh 7). Lesson: Do what God says to do!
Superb Military Strategy: Joshua took advantage of the king of Ai by luring them into an ambush and routing the city. (Josh 7:4-5 and chapter 8). I’m sure someone used this in a movie somewhere. Lesson: The men of Ai fell into the trap of pride and arrogance, they paid the ultimate price. In the moment, their actions seemed wise, but when “the men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising up” (Josh 8:20), you could probably hear a pin drop. Their foolishness exposed.
Gotcha (Josh 9): The surrounding kings were no fools. Even without the internet they knew the Israelites were not a force to be fought, so they got their best actors together and deceived Joshua. Joshua’s huge mistake was, “the Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord” (Josh 9:14). To his benefit, even after the deception was revealed, Joshua honored the treaty forged on deceptive grounds. He realized he was tricked, but allowed the gentiles to live. Lesson: Always consult the Lord, lean not on our own understanding.
One story of death and destruction and another of deception and grace. The common thread is this: do what the Lord says to do–always.