Joshua 6–10: Victory & Defeat

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 2: Tuesday

Today in Joshua 6–10, Israel’s conquest of Canaan begins; however, after their first two victories, they quickly encounter consequences because of their disobedience to God.  The remarkable thing is that they had already seen their own parents face the consequences of rebellion against God and lack of faith in Him; that generation, with the exception of Joshua and Caleb, was prevented by God from crossing the Jordan River and had to wander 40 years in the wilderness until they had all died.  The people Joshua led had not learned from the example that was right in front of them.  The application for us is obvious.

After Jericho is destroyed in chapter 6, Israel finds itself defeated by Ai in chapter 7, because Achan had disobeyed God and kept looted silver and gold from Jericho—items that were under God’s ban.  Rather than ensuring obedience after Jericho or suspecting disobedience after Ai, upon their defeat Joshua asks questions of God rather than the people.  God tells him Ai’s victory was due to sin, and directs Joshua on discovering and punishing the guilty.

In chapter 8, Israel is able to defeat Ai, but in the wake of this victory, when approached by the deceitful Gibeonites in chapter 9, they fail to ask the Lord for counsel and end up making a covenant with the Gibeonites, only to find out they have been tricked.

Finally, after these hard lessons, in chapter 10, there is victory after victory for Joshua and his people, “…because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.”

In his commentary on Joshua, Hugh Blair writes:

“The criterion of the religious value of any book is, what does it tell us about God?  What truth of God does it reveal?  The book of Joshua throws light upon three aspects of God’s relationship to man:

God’s faithfulness

God’s holiness

God’s salvation…”

Last Tuesday when I wrote about Joshua 1–5, I quoted this verse from Romans.  It is applicable this week as well.

“For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Romans 15:4


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Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
Hugh J. Blair, “Joshua,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds.,
A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 234.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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