Bible Time Period: Conquest and Judges
You led Israel triumphantly into the Promised Land. They failed to teach their children, and instead did what was right in their own eyes: Help me to keep my eyes on you and teach others what is truly right.
The conquest of Canaan is to proceed strategically, with Israel striking first at Jericho and Ai. Defeating these two towns provides access to the hill country where they can gain control of the central ridge, effectively dividing the north from the south. As you read about Jericho, pay attention to the Lord’s battle instructions: the ceremonies that precede battle, the order of the procession, the weapons the people are to use.
The victorious entry into the land is short-lived as disaster falls at Ai. You may wonder why Achan’s theft is such a big deal. These first cities and everything in them are to be “devoted to the Lord” (6:17) – almost as the first-fruits of a harvest belong to God – but by destruction. Achan does not steal just any plunder, he steals what belongs to God and at the very outset of their mission. This sin will affect the entire nation and is punished accordingly.
2 Corinthians 10:3-4 speaks of the nature of the war we are carrying on today and the weapons God gives us to destroy the enemy. Think about them in light of the fall of Jericho. What insights do you gain?
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