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Joshua 8

April 10, 2023

Groundworks Ministries Daily Bible Challenge

“Now the Lord said to Joshua: ‘Do not be afraid, nor 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...”

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Joshua 8

“Now the Lord said to Joshua: ‘Do not be afraid, nor 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. And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it.’ So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; and Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty men of valor and sent them away by night.” Joshua 8:1-3 (NKJV)

I love my Google Maps app. Sure, I love it because it gives me exact turn-by-turn directions to the places I want to go, and I love it because it takes into consideration real-time events like road construction and traffic accidents and re-routes me accordingly. But I love Google Maps MOSTLY because there is no shame in it.

If I fail to make a wrong turn, Google Maps simply finds the next best route based on my position. That is because the goal of Google Maps is to get me where I want to be without emotions getting in the way. Google Maps never says, “You’re such an idiot!” or “Why don’t you listen to me?” It never tells me, “You are a bonehead like your dad!” You know, things I might hear from certain other passengers in the car, who are stressed out and late for an appointment…

In today’s passage, we are reminded that the Lord lays aside the shame and guilt from the previous chapter and redirects Israel toward His goal of victory in Ai. We are reminded of His grace and mercy toward His people. Once the sin has been purged, the Lord encourages Joshua that He will again go before the army of Israel and guarantee victory. We are reminded of His forgiving character, that God does not hold a grudge. Once sin is dealt with, He sets us back on the path of righteousness.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (NKJV)

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.” Psalm 103:11-14 (HCSB)

Once God has given His assurance of victory, the details of the battle sort of fly by. Sure, there is a narrative and some drama with an ambush, but the whole battle only takes up a few paragraphs, like reading a news story. The real drama happens at the chapter’s end: Re-Writing and Reading the Torah of Moses. And that remembrance and re-commitment are what we do when we seek His Word each day. Keep your focus on the Lord and His Word, and the idolatry of this world will be exposed as the harlotry it is! And you will walk in victory, as the Lord promises.

Listen to an audio recording of this daily devotional here:

©Steve Wiggins 2021

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