Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 23, 2015

“but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua Chapter 8.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua%208&version=NASB

I quote on the following verses.

“1 Now the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed.  Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai;  see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.  2 You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king;  you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves.  Set an ambush for the city behind it.”

3 So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai;  and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. 4 He commanded them, saying, “See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it.  Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.  5 Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city.  And when they come out to meet us as at the first, we will flee before them.  6 They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’  So we will flee before them.  7 And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the Lord your God will deliver it into your hand.  8 Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire.  You shall do it according to the word of the Lord.  See, I have commanded you.”

… (Joshua mustered the people, the ambush was set up, and the people did as commanded – Bill’s note) …

“19 The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire.  20 When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai.  22 The others came out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, [some on this side and some on that side;  and they slew them until no one was left of those who survived or escaped.”  Joshua Chapter 8:  Verses 1-8 and 19-22.

——————

There is a sharp contrast between Israel’s defeat at Ai in the prior chapter and Israel’s victory at Ai in this chapter.

We remember that Israel suffered defeat at Ai because they sinned against God.  “Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them.  And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things.  Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies;  they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed.  I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.”  Joshua 7:11-12.

“Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the mantle, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent and all that belonged to him; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor.  Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us?  The Lord will trouble you this day.”  And all Israel stoned them with stones;  and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.  They raised over him a great heap of stones that stands to this day, and the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger.  …”  Joshua 7:24-26.

Then, we come to today’s Scripture and Israel’s victory at Ai in this chapter.

“Now the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed.  Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai;  see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.”  Verse 1.

The three lessons that we can learn from these two chapters and other Scripture is that a mighty army is a false hope for victory and that the LORD is the One Who gives defeat or victory and that the LORD favors and give the victory to those who fear Him.

“10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.”  Psalm 147:10-11.

“13 The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men;
14 From His dwelling place He looks out
On all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 He who fashions the hearts of them all,
He who understands all their works.
16 The king is not saved by a mighty army;
A warrior is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
19 To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
22 Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.”  Psalm 33:13-22.

but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  I Corinthians 15:57.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: