Feb 26, 2006
Background: Joshua and the Israelites had lost the battle with Ai the first time, but in Joshua 8 we see a totally different picture than the one we saw in Joshua 7. Joshua and the Israelites had repented of their sin and got themselves reconnected to God. They made sure no sin remained. What I mean by sin-as I have seen while reading upto this chapter, it is not "what you do", but its more of disobedience. Let me show you-- earlier, the Israelites had fallen in disobedience when they took the spoils of the battle, but its not about taking the spoils, because in Joshua 8:2 God tells the Israelites-"You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city."
Many would have thought, right, God wants all the money for Himself (if they read the previous chapters in Joshua), but its not about that, what can we give God in gold and silver Haggai 2:8 "'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty." God was showing them obedience. We've got to follow what our Lord says about the situations in our life very carefully.
What I see here is that, people have often misunderstood God, in what He was trying to show. God is not an unjust God. In my life, God had shown me a way to win my brother to the Lord and God blessed me in that. My brother now lives for Jesus (Praise God). I am now in another situation, very similar to the one I faced with my brother, I had been applying the same principles here, but it did not work. Its the same I see with Joshua, he sent out spies (like before), he sent his men for war(like before), but they were defeated. So Joshua asked God and won the battle in an amazing manner and so, I asked God too , then God showed me that this battle I am on , though similar from my point of view(winning a sould for Jesus), needs a different strategy to win. The strongholds here are different, the king of this new place is different, the city is different, the type of soldiers in this city are different. God showed Joshua that they needed to set an ambush behind the city this time, not go around it like they did in Jericho and Joshua won and so will I and you, if we learn the lesson here.
Lesson: Though the mission was the same-"Winning the battle"- the strategy was different. Joshua would not have won if he would not have called out to God. So , are we using a strategy from a previous battle or are we looking to God to show us the right way.God can see way beyond what we can, about anything in our life- Isaiah 55:9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. " So lets run to God for any situation we're facing, He is able. He is willing to help. He knows the strategy we need for any struggle we're in. He cares (1 Peter 5:7) "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you". Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.