March 25, 2023
Joshua chapters 5 through 8 take us to Gilgal where the circumcision of males takes place, we read of the fall of the city of Jericho, a family is punished for disobeying God, and the attack on the city of Ai.
Chapter 5 –
When the kings of the land heard what god had done at the river, they were terrified and their courage failed. Before the Israelites were to engage in battle God was to have the men circumcised. This was a sign of the covenant between man and God. During the healing process the camp would be vulnerable to attack but God protected them.
While camping in the plains of Jericho, Israel observed the Passover, remembering their deliverance from Egyptian slavery. In the past they had eaten manna but now they ate from the produce of the land.
As the Israelites were on the plains of Jericho an impregnable city Joshua knew God had given them the city and he notices a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword. His allegiance was to heaven as the commander of the Lord’s army. Joshua bows to the man and removes his sandals because he is standing on holy ground.
Chapter 6 –
Jericho is strongly fortified as a city. Rahab who helped the spies is also within the city. God commanded them to walk around the city once a day for six days and on the seventh to walk around the city seven times s they blew the trumpet made of a ram’s horn. A careful reading od verses 6 – 25 tell us they followed the exact orders as God had laid them out. Rahab and her family are saved, the city is destroyed, and curse is placed on anyone who would rebuild the city by costing them their own children.
Chapter 7 –
Chapter seven takes us from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat. Specific instructions are given but someone in the crowd chooses to disobey. Do not take articles as souvenirs but destroy everything. Achan did not obey and he brought down the anger of God on the people. One person committed an infraction everyone suffered in the camp. Joshua was unaware who had sinned but the army as they attacked Ai was defeated and thirty-six Israelites were slain in battle.
Achan is identified as the guilty one and his entire family is punished by being stoned the burned outside the city. This may seem harsh but he willfully chose to disobey what god had commanded of the people. There are consequences for sin today we should not take it lightly.
Chapter 8 –
Once the sin of Achan had been dwelt with God commanded Joshua to attack Ai because He had already handed it over to him. This time they employed a different strategy. God instructed them to set an ambush for the people. Joshua briefed the troops on God’s plan for them to attack. They executed the plan flawlessly and all the people of Ai fell to the Israelites. Notice they hung the king but took his body down by night time because they were not to defile the land as we learned in Deuteronomy 21:22-23.
The victory over Ai did not end in a party but in the reading of the of the Word of God. But only by heeding God’s word could Israel overcome all their enemies.