Joshua 7 & 8: Fear Not
Verse of the Day: (8:1) And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land
1. Few (7:1-26)
And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. (7:3)
Why Israel manage to defeat a great city like Jericho, but failed to overcome a small city like Ai? Sins in the camp and complacency! Joshua and Israel thought that they could defeat Ai with only 2,000 to 3,000 men as Ai had only few people, but they failed to realise that it was God who shall grant them victory over their enemies. The reason for the defeat of Ai was that there were sins in the camp, as Achan had stolen and kept the forbidden spoils of their enemies. Subsequently, God revealed to Joshua that Achan from the tribe of Judah was the culprit. Achan, his family and possessions were then stoned and burnt to death. Though Achan was from Judah, and her reputation had been tarnished, yet God did not condemn her, and even blessed her as out of her came forth Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Indeed, God is fair in His dealing with mankind. (Matthew 1:1-3)
2. Fear (8:1-23)
And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city. (8:18)
Just like God commanded Moses to fear not, and to stretch out his hand with his rod, as He miraculously opened the Red Sea to let Israel crossed it dry so as to escape the pursuing Egyptians, He also commanded Joshua to fear not, and to stretch out his hand with his spear, as He shall miraculously defeat Ai for them. Indeed, God taught Moses, Joshua, Israel, you and me, that it is not really the rod or the spear or anything or anyone, but God alone, who shall overcome all our struggles and storms. (Exodus 14:13-22)
3. Fallen (8:24-35)
And it came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness wherein they chased them, and when they were all fallen on the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and smote it with the edge of the sword. (8:24)
Indeed, God gave Joshua and Israel great victory over Ai, as all the people, except their King (who was subsequently hanged) were fallen and destroyed, as they trusted and obeyed Him. They then built an altar before God to thank Him for His great deliverance.
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to fear not, but to trust and obey You and You alone.
Joshua 5 & 6: And Joshua Did So
Verse of the Day: (5:15) And the captain of the LORD’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
1. Jordan (5:1-8)
And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel. (5:1)
When God is with us, no one, not even the Devil, can be against us. The great enemies of Israel were fearful of them when they heard that God had miraculously dried up the Jordan River for them to cross dry to their territory to fight against them. (Romans 8:31)
2. Joshua (5:9-15)
And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day. (15:9)
Gilgal means “rolling away”, and God rolled away the shame of Egypt from Israel as they repented their sins of rebellion. God then commanded Joshua to circumcise the young generation who were 19 years and below who survived the 40 years’ wilderness journey, while those 20 years and above, except for Joshua and Caleb, died because of their disobedience. Today, we no longer practise circumcision, but God shall circumcise our hearts to make us holy as we believe in and receive Jesus, His Son, as our personal Saviour. Joshua obeyed God without questioning, and God sent His Captain, Jesus, to encourage him just before he led Israel to their victory over Jericho. (Numbers 14:29-30)
3. Jericho (6:1-27)
And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. (6:2)
God assured Joshua before he even led Israel to overcome Jericho that He had already given Jericho to them. This is God’s promise to every of His children that He shall grant us victory over all our trials, troubles and temptations, as we trust and obey Him. God commanded Joshua and Israel to go round the city of Jericho once for 6 consecutive days, and 7 times on the 7th day, and as the priests would blow the trumpets, and Israel shall shout with a great shout, and the walls shall fall. The wall did fall, and Israel defeated Jericho. Though in the book of Hebrews, God mentions “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days” yet there was no mention of Joshua’s name when God commends a number of them for their faith. Indeed, it is never about man’s great achievements, but it is all about God, and His great work. (Hebrews 11:30)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to obey Your commandments without questioning.
Joshua 3 & 4: Be Sanctified
Verse of the Day: (3:5) And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
1. Sanctify (3:1-8)
And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan. (3:8)
Unless we yield our lives to God and let Him sanctify us from all our sins, He cannot use us for His holy work and glory. This was why God commanded Israel through Joshua to sanctify themselves before He would miraculously open the Jordan River so that they could cross it dry into the land of Canaan where they shall then fight against their enemies to possess their Promised Land. God commanded Israel not to panic or worry, but to stand still when they would come to the brink of the water and believe that God shall indeed perform a great miracle for them, and for His glory. Let us therefore be still and sanctify ourselves so that God can use us for His holy work and glory. (Romans 6:13)
2. Soles (3:9-17)
And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. (3:13)
The ark of the LORD represented God, and His command was that when the soles of the priests carrying the ark touched the waters of Jordan River, the waters shall stop flowing and shall stand like a heap. It was beyond their imagination when God did that, and Israel knew that He was indeed the true God, and Joshua was their leader after Moses, whom God also used him to perform the miracle of the opening the Red Sea. (Exodus 14:21-22)
3. Stones (4:1-24)
Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever. (4:7)
We are to bring up our children in the admonition of God, and most importantly share the gospel to them so that they receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, at a young age, as death comes to everyone young or old. This was why God commanded twelve men out of the twelve tribes of Israel to gather a stone each and carry it to the other side where Joshua shall set them up at Gilgal, to remind their children and their future generations of how God had miraculously opened the River Jordan for them to cross dry. (Ephesians 6:4)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please sanctify and use me for Your holy work and glory.
Joshua 1 & 2: Be Strong
Verse of the Day: (1:6) Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
1. Strong (1:1-18)
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. (1:7)
Why did God keep encouraging Joshua, the successor of Moses, the leader of Israel, to be strong and courageous? It was because Joshua knew that what he was about to do for God was impossible in the human mind. He was to lead Israel to cross the river Jordan and fight the enemies on the other side so as to possess God’s Promised Land. Without boats how could Israel cross the river Jordan? Without swords, spears, shields and armours how could Israel fight the enemies and possess the Land? Yet God encouraged and enabled Joshua that He shall be with him and Israel, and He shall open the river Jordan, just like He had opened the Red Sea for Moses. Indeed God fought for Israel, and they managed to overcome their enemies and possessed the Promised Land. The only thing that Joshua and Israel did was to trust and obey God and His commandments. Indeed, let us trust and obey God, and be strong and courageous, and believe that God is able to help us overcome our struggles and storms, just like He did for the nation of Israel. (Psalms 46)
2. Spy (2:1-8)
And Joshua the son of Nun sent out Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. (2:1)
Moses and Joshua failed to trust God when they sent out spies to their enemy’s territories. When God promises, He shall deliver, yet man fails to believe in Him. Just like Moses, Joshua send spies to Jericho to assess how great their walls and army were. Though he failed God, yet God still protected his spies, and used Rahab, a prostitute, to help the spies escaped, when the king of Jericho discovered that Israel had sent out spies to infiltrate their land. Though Rahab was an immoral woman, yet when she repented of her sins, and believed in the God of Israel, God used her to delivering the spies. Let us repent of our sins, and God is always faithful to forgive us our sins and to bless us. (1 John 1:9)
3. Save (2:9-24)
And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. (2:13)
As a result of Rahab delivering the spies out of Jericho, and her request to the spies, God delivered her and her entire extended family when Israel defeated Jericho. (Joshua 6:25)
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to be strong even as I go through life’s hardest trial.