Scripture Read: Joshua 7 - 8
Title: Israel Defeated at Ai
(H) Highlight verse: "The LORD said to Joshua, 'Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.'" Joshua 7:10, 11)
(E) Explain: In today's passage we are introduced to A man named Achan. He secretly kept some of the plunder from the raid of Jericho for himself. This was a direct disobedient act that God forbid. Ultimately because of his sin it constituted in the failed attack on the city of Ai.
At the onset the Israelites looked at Ai and said there was no need for the full army to attack, so they sent 3,000 troops and unfortunately about 36 men were killed, and the Israelites were defeated. This really upset Joshua and he complains to the LORD about why God would ever let this happen?
God answers him and tells him about the sin of Achan. The Israelites deal with Achan and then God commissions Israel to go back to Ai and attack and face this city that defeated them earlier.
(A) Application: Let’s be realistic, we all have or will face seemingly impossible situations in our lives… Whether they be physical, emotional, financial, spiritual or relational they can loom over us and cause us to lose hope and in some cases, give up all together. In chapter 7 we see the reason the Israelites were unsuccessful in the attack on Ai is because there was sin in the camp. Unchecked sin and outright disobedience in our lives to God will usually, if not always, result in hindering what God is planning on doing. However, His plans are never thwarted He just deals with us until we come to the place where we acknowledge and repent of the sin(s) that are hindering us.
(R) Respond: When we are faced with difficulties or daunting tasks I believe it is important, if not necessary to begin with prayer. We need to ask God to search us and speak to our hearts to see if there is anything hindering us from truly following, worshiping and trusting Him.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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