Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from it. All of you be on the alert: read Josh 8;

Joshua is giving the 30 thousand chosen men to set an ambush behind the city. It wan the vary strategy God has commanded Joshua that he has passed on to them. God is commanding all of them to be on the alert;

• What could we observe the way God has commanded Joshua to learn again ‘How to lead the army for a campaign of the Lord’? See also Eph 5:10-11 and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

• What could we observe the way they had to learn to do about their understanding? See also Pr 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

• What is the Lord teaching us about the way we are supposed to be on the alert in daily life? See also Rom 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

• What is the Lord saying to you about your attitude to stay on the alert in your life?

• What do you want to do in response to His voice?

Treat Ai and its king as you did Jericho and its king; you may plunder its spoil and livestock for yourselves: read Josh 8;

God’s instruction for the campaign against the city of Ai was so different from that against Jericho. God instructed Joshua to take the whole army against the Ai, and also to put an ambush behind the city that they might attack them from both front and behind the city. They also could plunder its spoil and livestock for themselves;

  • What could we observe the way God has commanded them what to do in detail for their battle?  See also Pr 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  • What could we observe the way God involved Himself in the battle with them? See also Ex 14:19-20 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
  • What has God promised us about our His involvement in our battle/life as we fight His battle? See also  Ps 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
  • What is an area of your life that God speaks that you need to acknowledge His leadership that He might fight/help for yourself?
  • How do you want to respond to His voice?

“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai…”: read Josh 8;

Joshua restored His walk with God as he took care of the problem caused by Achan. God, who was silent when they tried to carry out their campaign, resumed His leadership about what to do next against the city of Ai, where they have defeated themselves. For, the campaign became God’s, not theirs any more;

  • What could we observe the way God is sending them again to where they have failed? See also 2 Pet 1:3-4  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
  • What could we observe the way God resumed His leadership over them as they carried out God’s command to consecrate themselves? See also Pr 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  •  What could we observe the way God stayed faithful though His people have sinned?  See also 2 Tim 2:13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
  • What is the Lord saying that you need to go to where you have failed as you carried out your campaign, not His?
  • What do you want to do in response to His voice that He might resume fighting for you?

Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring these people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites? Read your journal over the week/ Josh 7;

Joshua saw the task before him but got too busy to see or listen to God. The campaign God led turned into their campaign as he listened to those who spy out the land and they could not conquer the small city of Ai on their own. Are we also allowing the task before us ours? Read your journal over the week/ or Josh 7 and see ‘What the Lord has spoken to you’ and ‘How you’ve responded to His work’ as well;

  • What has the Lord spoken to you about your attitude in life, the way you lead campaigns?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about where your ears focused?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about your impact on the community around?
  • What has the Lord spoken to you about your accountability to the Lord and His people?
  • What is an application you want to carry out in life?

Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: read Josh 7

Achan, who has stolen somethings and hid those in his tent somethings devoted to God has confessed after Joshua named him by the help of the Lord. For, he could not hide anything from the Lord who sees everything in secret;

• What could we observe the expectation of God from His people in the process of His work of wonders among His people? See also Josh 3:5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”

• What could we observe the way God works among His people? See also Gen 16:13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

• What could we observe the consequence of Achan’s choice? See also Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

• What makes consecration matters so much to God’s people?

• What is the Lord saying to you about your consecration?

• How do you want to respond to His voice?

And Joshua said, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us?: read Josh 7;

Was Joshua such a short-sighted man that he challenged God for bringing the Israelites across the Jordan to deliver them into the hands of their enemies? He could not see why they could not stand against the men of Ai until the Lord answered him and revealed Him the real reason for their defeat. Are we also short-sighted that we need to stay intimate with the almighty God that we might overcome our enemy in life?

  • What could we observe the way Joshua got so narrow-minded that he overlooked the reason they got defeated?
  • What could we observe the way Joshua dared to charge against God as if He was not faithful in keeping His covenant? See also 2 Cor 1:20  For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
  • What could we learn of the way He allows the people to reap the consequence of their behavior? See also Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
  • What is the Lord saying about the way we may stay in the right perspective before the Lord in a changing situation? See also 2 Pet 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
  • How do you want to respond to His word that you might recognize His guidance?

Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, was taken: read Josh 7;

Joshua identified Achan, who stole those things devoted to God even no one told him who did it. For, no one could hide what he was doing from God who sees everything anyone would do;

  • What could we observe the way God sees and hears everything that anyone is doing though he tried to do it in secret? See also Ex 3:7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
  • What could we observe the way the Lord identified Himself to the people? See also Mt 6:3-4  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
  • What is the Lord saying about what He could do through what happened to King Herod as he didn’t acknowledge the Lord? See also Act 12:21-23
    21  On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.
    22  They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”
    23  Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your acknowledgment of Him in life?
  • How do you want to respond to His voice?

Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things: read Josh 7;

Though only one man sinned and stole something devoted to God for destruction, God is saying to Joshua that Israel has sinned. Though one man violated the covenant God commanded them to obey, God says that they have violated;

  • What could we observe that God is treating one man’s sin as a sin of the whole nation? See also 1 Cor 5:6-7 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast–as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
  • What could we observe from the way God responded to the covetous act of one man among His people? See also Col 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
  • What is God’s warning against the action of sin done in secret among His people supposed to stay consecrated? See also Eccl 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
  • What is the Lord saying to you about your attitude toward your covenant/promise to the Lord?
  •  How do you want to respond to His voice that you might see Him stay with you?

They said, “Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it, for only a few men are there.”: read Josh 7;

Those men who spied the city of Ai advised Joshua to send two or three thousand men to take the city, for only a few men are there! And that’s what Joshua did before their enemy routed them who were only a few;

  • What could we observe the way Joshua didn’t have a clue of what happened as he repeated something he did before?  See also Pr 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
  • What could we observe the consequence of the way they pursued the rational way of battle rather than seeking His guidance?  See also  Jn 15:6  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
  • How should they have set out that God might accompany their campaign? See also Heb 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
  • What is the Lord saying to you about the way you need to walk by faith in your life these days?
  • What do you want to do in response to His word?

But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi … of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel: read Josh 7;

Joshua must have been too busy to listen to the Lord and seek guidance of God about God’s campaign against Ai the next city in line. And they could not succeed on their own for, they have not abided in God and they could do nothing on their own. The moment it became their own campaign, they were no better than their enemies; 

  • What could we observe the way God has promised about His engagement in their battle? See also Deut 20:3-4  He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” 
  •  What could we observe the cause of their defeat before their enemy? See also Jn 15:5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 
     
  • What could we observe the way they could not see God’s company/fight for them in their battle? See also Isa 59:1-3  Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 
    2  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. 
    3  For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things. 
  • What is the Lord saying to you about recent battle/ life that it turned into your battle? 
  • What do you want to do in that area that you might see His involvement/fight in your battle/life?