March 7th

Joshua 5-8

  • 5:1 – Clearly other nations had heard of the power of the God of Israel. Though they worshipped other gods, they knew of the wonders God had performed.
  • 5:10-12 – A powerful illustration that God provides for us in different ways, but he always provides.
  • 5:13-14—Notice what the angel is saying here: Joshua asks him if he’s on the Israelites side, or Jericho’s side, and his response is “Neither, I’m on God’s” In other words, this fight isn’t about Israel versus Canaan, or Israel vs Jericho, this is about God vs evil.
  • 5:15 – The parallels between Joshua and Moses continue. When God called Moses from the burning bush, he also told Moses to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground.
  • 6:1-25 – Joshua toppling the walls of Jericho is a fairly familiar story, but often we don’t know why or when it happened. Now we see that Jericho was part of the Promised Land that Israel was to take it over.
  • 7:1-5—This time the Israelites are fighting their own battle, not God’s battle- meaning that instead of going where God led them and doing what God told them, they take it upon themselves to attack the city of Ai, and they do so after one of their people has stolen some of the items from Jericho that were to be dedicated to the God in the Tabernacle. This theft is a huge problem- by requiring the Israelites to dedicate a large portion of the plunder from any conquered city to the Tabernacle, God reminds the Israelites of why they’re fighting this war and who they’re fighting it for: it’s not about gaining riches or glory for themselves, but about stamping out an evil culture and replacing it with a holy one. When Achan steals some of the treasure for himself, he becomes no better than the Canaanites.
  • 8:1-17 – The Israelites attempted to conquer Ai before but were vulnerable because someone in the camp had been unfaithful, and because they hadn’t waited for God’s instructions. Like all things that start badly, God made good out of it. The people of Ai were overconfident and pursued the Israelites into an ambush.

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