” Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai….” At the beginning of Joshua 8, God told Joshua who had torn his clothes and sprinkled dust on his head to rise up from the failure of the war. In fact, God asks us to do everything we do. It doesn’t matter if we fall; the important thing is to get up again. It doesn’t matter how we fall; the important thing is how to get up again.
There are several reasons for Israelites’ failure to take Ai: 1, They disobeyed God. 2, They underestimated their enemy. 3, they sinned against God. Joshua and the Israelites confessed their sin and repented. They learned the lesson and turned the negativity to positivity, and this was laid the foundation for their success of taking Ai. God said to Joshua, ” I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.” So Joshua reorganized his army, and marched to Ai with faith and hope. Joshua listened to the words of God, and he received them with faith.
Today, God also speaks to us, “Go and make disciples of all nations. Be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Have we heard what God said? God wants us to spread the Gospel, starting from Jerusalem. Jerusalem represents our families which is closest to us. Is there any non-believer in your family? Are you taking their lives seriously? Are you working hard enough to take them to Jesus? Have you ever shed tears of worry for them? Do you just let be, even if they still don’t believe in Jesus.
Because of his faith in God, Joshua led his army to fight again. This time, Joshua had a very wise strategy; he had his people ambushed behind the city. At the front Joshua’s people faked a defeat and ran away. When the people from Ai chased after the Israelites, those who ambushed behind the city came forth and attacked the people from Ai, and the Israelites killed all of their enemies. Not even one was left.
Why was God so cruel and asked the Israelites to kill everyone from Ai? Actually, God has already given them 800 years! From the time when God called Abraham to the time when Joshua led his army to fight for the Promised Land, 800 years has passed. God has given enough time to the sinful people of Canaan to repent. However, they did not confess their sin, nor did they repent, that is why God had to wipe them out. God is a consuming fire, which cannot be mocked!
The scrolls is about to be unfolded. Those whose name is not on the book of life will be damned forever in exactly the same way Ai was destroyed. Our lives come from God, and so He has the sovereignty, and he can take our lives away anytime he wants. There is nothing unfair to it. If you think God is harsh and strict, you should be worried for the lives of your families who still do not believe in God. While there is still time, weep and pray for your family members who still do not belong to Jesus so that they can turn to God.
One sister once said, “I have to influence in my family. I am not like a son, nor am I married to a rich man. My family would never listen to me. If I had married to the richest person, I would have had power over my family, and they would have listened to me and gone to church.” Actually, what she said is not true. If we act out of God’s love, we would show God’s glory, and people would see God through us. If so, people will believe in our Lord Jesus. Don’t underestimate your power. God loves us all. God has chosen us, and He wants us to spread the Gospel to our family that we love as well.