Today’s Word on the Web was from Joshua 7
1 Then the People of Israel violated the holy curse. Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah of the tribe of Judah, took some of the cursed things. God became angry with the People of Israel. 2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai (The Ruin), which is near Beth Aven just east of Bethel. He instructed them, “Go up and spy out the land.” The men went up and spied out Ai.
3 They returned to Joshua and reported, “Don’t bother sending a lot of people—two or three thousand men are enough to defeat Ai. Don’t wear out the whole army; there aren’t that many people there.”
4-5 So three thousand men went up—and then fled in defeat before the men of Ai! The men of Ai killed thirty-six—chased them from the city gate as far as The Quarries, killing them at the descent. The heart of the people sank, all spirit knocked out of them.
6 Joshua ripped his clothes and fell on his face to the ground before the Chest of God, he and the leaders throwing dirt on their heads, prostrate until evening.
7-9 Joshua said, “Oh, oh, oh…Master, God. Why did you insist on bringing this people across the Jordan? To make us victims of the Amorites? To wipe us out? Why didn’t we just settle down on the east side of the Jordan? Oh, Master, what can I say after this, after Israel has been run off by its enemies? When the Canaanites and all the others living here get wind of this, they’ll gang up on us and make short work of us—and then how will you keep up your reputation?”
This is very interesting. The 36 were killed during the descent, which means that the Israelites ran before any fighting got under-way, properly as soon as they reached the gate and were surprised by an ambush I would say. They might have outnumbered the enemy and so were just expecting to walk in through the front gate, but were caught in the narrow area around the gate, where there numbers did not tell and ran.
How often does that happen to us, we see an easy task and just run at it, and then find it was tougher than we though, because we had not checked with God first. We are surprised by a sudden difficulty or turn of events and run from it, if only we had checked with God first or just stopped and prayed at that point. Instead we just run from the problem.
The Israelites had just taken Jericho in an amassing way, and this town was much smaller and so much easier, so no need to trouble God just send a few men up towards the main gate and it would all be over. The trouble is the enemy saw them coming and lay in wait for them.
How often do we find that even the simple things in life go wrong, do we pray about them first?
In my case not always, but I must admit I am doing so more often as it works out so much better.
I pray that you will learn as I have that letting God control everything works out much better in the long run as he knows what lays ahead.