Joshua: Chapter 7:1-5
This is not Biblical, but from various articles on Google, it is estimated that 1.5 million to 3 million Israelites crossed over the Jordan River. We don’t need to know the exact number, but we can imagine that the number was significant for the Israelites to besieged the city of Jericho.
Following the victory of Jericho, Joshua sends spies against Ai, the next city in their way and dispatches, dispatches but 3,000 men to the battle and after loosing 36 men in the battle, retreats and is dishonored.
So what happened?
There are a couple of things going on- one yet hidden and the other revealed:
#1. Hidden – Achan, an Israelite sinned in the besiege of Jericho, but his sin is not yet known to Joshua which has angered God. More on Achan later.
#2. Revealed – Pride and Laziness. Israel needed to be humbled. God did not tell to Joshua to attack Ai, Joshua made that decision on his own and failed. Had Joshua waited for God, he probably would have been told about #1 above. The Israelites were full of themselves from the victory of Jericho and overestimated their abilities and needed to see for themselves that they could do nothing without God. And they were lazy, preparing and sending only 3,000 men to battle Ai (who of course heard about the destruction of Jericho). When the battle did not go the Israelites’ way loosing 36 men out of 3,000, they retreated. Their pride and laziness did not honor God nor did it witness to the army of Ai, God’s power and glory.
But, I just did the same thing a few months ago, over estimating my abilities and making plans without consulting with God. I tried to lead and failed terribly. Once I realized my sin (and it took awhile even when nothing was working out like I thought it should), I asked for God’s forgiveness and through reading Joshua learned to follow God with the mindset of a servant and everything started to fall into place according to God’s will and not my own.
Here is the lesson that I am taking from Joshua today, don’t overestimate my abilities, continue to work on my pride, align my will to God’s will and plans, wait on God to lead and he will fight my battles.
God gives us power to be victorious, but our victories are for God, not for ourselves.
You can read previous posts on this series and other inspirational messages by visiting my blog at, www.purpose8institute.com