By: Ely Lagajino
The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Romans 13:12 (NASB)
After Jericho’s fall, Joshua planned to take over Ai, a small city west of Jordan valley, with a population of 12,000 Amorites. It is a royal city based on the light rays emblem of their temple.
Abraham had been in this place and God promised to give this land to his offspring. Abraham built an altar near the site of Ai to worship God and to provide an example for the Canaanites around on how to worship the true God (Genesis 12:8).
Joshua sent spies to Ai. The spies returned with breaking news that the city was tiny and suggested that 3,000 soldiers were enough to capture the area.
The Israelites predicted a comfortable victory against Ai and its defeat will give Israel entrance to the heart of Canaan. In the process, however, they forgot to consult God, their captain.
They rushed to attack without an assurance from God for their victory.
A massive force of Ai soldiers surprised the Israelites. In terror, they retreated in confusion while the Amorites chased them and killed 36 Israel soldiers.
The defeat of Israel discouraged the Israelites. Their hearts melted like water, and a bad reputation of being defeated by a small city would result in strong opposition.
Joshua prayed questioning God why it happened when He assured them to possess the Promised Land.
God revealed to Joshua that they had transgressed the Covenant because of a secret sin committed by one of the Israelite soldiers. The unconfessed sin resulted to their defeat. The whole camp of Israel became accountable for the sin of one person.
Sin whether secret or bold and blatant will always affect the people of God. It needs to be taken away.
Joshua 7, 8; PP p. 542