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Joshua 6-8


A Devotional Journey
     led by Dr. Gene Pearson                                                                                                                     
Thru the Bible in a Year
       The stories of Jericho and Ai need to be considered as a pair.  At Jericho the people march around the city for six days, and on the seventh as they blow on the trumpets and shout the walls of the city collapse.
       The Ark of the Covenant plays a prominent role in all this as it represents the presence of God and His blessing on the People. 
When the walls fall down, Rahab and her family are spared, but every other person of any age was put to death.  Nothing was to be kept as booty for anyone but the Lord, the intention being that none of the things in the land which had corrupted this people would be able to do so in the lives of the Israelites.  
       One of the Israelites, Achan, is unable to resist the wealth with which he is confronted and therefore takes some of the loot for himself, burying it in his tent.  Not long after, when Joshua's army attacked the nearby city of Ai, which should have easily fallen, they were driven off and thirty-six men were killed by the enemy. 
       When Moses complains to God, he is told of the sin committed by Achan and given instructions on how to identify him.  Achan is found out and put to death, along with his entire family, in another of the initial displays of God's resolute rejection of anything that might pollute or corrupt His People.  To us it is a shocking episode, but not to the Israelites who had a strong sense of corporate solidarity and the attendant notion that when the head of the family sins he brings judgment on every one in the family. 
       After the punishment of Achan, the Israelites easily defeat the town of Ai through one of the great early tactical approaches of their history (one which is still used as an example in military settings).  God's covenant is renewed with the people at Mount Ebal, and they are once again ready to continue the conquest.
       Is there anything in your life which needs confession to God or change? Review Moses’ words in Numbers 32:23, "Be sure your sins will find you out!"
       Do you ever allow yourself to be tempted by the values and distractions of the world around you to become engaged in conduct, attitudes or conversations which you know must displease Him?  Decide to work on one thing this week that might otherwise pull you away from God.  Make a plan, and begin today.
A. Eugene Pearson 2011