Scripture: Joshua 5-8. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
The Canaanites and the Amorites were the two major groups living in the land of Canaan at the time of Israel’s invasion, and Baal was their favorite god to worship. The Israelites began worshiping these false gods, as well. Before Joshua and the Israelites attacked Jericho, the angelic leader of the Lord’s army appeared and gave Joshua further instructions. Joshua and the armed men were to march around Jericho for six days. Seven priests were to carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark of the covenant. On the seventh day, they were to march around Jericho seven times, the trumpets would be sounded, and the people were to shout so the wall of Jericho would fall down. The spies went to Rahab’s house and gathered her and her family, putting them in a place to stay outside the camp of the Israelites. The people were not to take any possessions of Jericho; however, Achan, the son of Zimri, disobeyed. Achan’s sin brought judgment on the entire nation of Israel, and him and his family were stoned. After the Israelites had been cleansed from Achan’s sin, the Israelites then defeated the city of Ai.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Back in the Book of Numbers, the Israelite’s first attempt to enter the promised land failed because they were afraid of the Canaanites. In these chapters of Joshua, the Canaanites had learned about Israel’s great victories, and they were afraid. We must never underestimate God and what He, the Almighty, can do. When the angel of the Lord’s army appeared, as a sign of respect, Joshua removed his sandals. We, too, can show respect to God by our attitudes and actions, recognizing His power and authority. God told Joshua that the enemy, Jericho, had already been defeated. Our enemy, Satan, has already been defeated by Jesus. Even though we still fight battles and have struggles daily, we can be assured that the war has already been won, and we can overcome the enemy through the power of Christ. God wanted to keep the Israelites’ faith and religion away from contamination. God wants us to clean up our behavior when we start a new life with Him, also, rejecting anything that is a reminder of a life of rebellion against Him. When we follow God’s plan for us wholeheartedly, we can experience His blessings for us. Achan did not take God seriously, and his actions ended up hurting his family, as well. Our actions can affect more people than just ourselves, so we must be careful and flee from our temptations.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Please help us to never underestimate You and what You can do. We know that You are the Almighty God, and nothing is impossible for You. Help us to show You respect by our attitudes and actions, always recognizing Your power and authority. Please forgive us, for we fail so often. Thank You for being such a loving, understanding, and forgiving God. And thank You for the reminder that our enemy has already been defeated through Your son Jesus. Please help us to follow Your plan for us wholeheartedly. Help us to flee from our temptations, knowing that You will guide us and help us along the way. We love You and thank You. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.