Sunday, August 25, 2013

Achan is Stoned, Ai is Destroyed

Today's Reading:
  • Joshua 7:16 - 9:2
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Joshua 7:16 - 9:2
The last reading in Joshua left off with a cliff hanger -- someone had sinned against the Lord and that person was going to be singled out and punished.  The people were first dived into tribes, where the tribe of Judah was identified.  Next, that tribe divided into clans, and the clan of Zerah was singled out.  Next, the family of Zimri was singled out.  Out of that family, Achan was identified as the offender.

Achan admitted to taking what belonged to the Lord.  Achan and his entire family was stoned to death.  Reading stuff like this is very hard; after all we live in an age where people are taught mainly about love, grace, forgiveness.  But we must remember that sinning against God makes him angry, and it will be punished if we do not repent.  Achan had a direct order from God to not take any of that plunder from the battle, yet he directly disobeyed God's orders.  The result was that the Israelites failed at their battle to taking the town of Ai. 

After the sin of Ai was addressed, the Israelites went on to successfully ambush the town.  Verse 8:28-29 says:
So Joshua burned the town of Ai, and it became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day.   Joshua impaled the king of Ai on a sharpened pole and left him there until evening.  At sunset the Israelites took down the body, as Joshua commanded, and threw it in front of the town gate.  They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today. 

The reading ends with all the other kings conspiring to gather together in an effort to beat the Israelites.  We'll see what happens, but somehow I have a feeling that all will turn in the favor of God's people.