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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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"Burnt Offerings to the LORD" -- Joshua 8:1-35

Joshua%20Conquest.jpgThe Tenth in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Joshua

When Achan took silver, gold, and personal property from the ruins of the city of Jericho, his actions brought the entire nation of Israel under the covenant curse.  Because YHWH had devoted the city of Jericho for destruction, no Israelite was permitted to take anything from the city once it had fallen and its inhabitants put to death.  To do so was a sin against YHWH.  Therefore, Achan’s theft was also an act of treason against the nation and its people.  Israel was a theocracy–a holy nation unto the Lord.  This makes Achan’s sin a capital crime.  But when Achan was put to death by the citizens of Israel, and when all his possessions were destroyed–including those items he had taken from the ruins of Jericho–God’s anger was turned aside and the curse was lifted from the nation.  Israel would now be victorious over the city of Ai, which had inflicted a surprising and humiliating defeat upon Israel when Joshua attempted to take the city after Jericho fell.  After Ai is destroyed, all Israel will stop and renew their covenant with YHWH.

We are continuing our series on the Book of Joshua.  After the city of Jericho fallen, the way into the land of Canaan was wide open.  Joshua went ahead with plans to take the rest of Canaan, beginning with the capture of Ai, a small city a dozen miles or so from Jericho.  But to Joshua’s great surprise, the men of Ai thoroughly defeated the 3,000 soldiers Joshua sent, killing a number of Joshua’s men and chasing away the rest in a panic.  Not only was this an embarrassing defeat in its own right, but if news spread throughout Canaan that Israel’s soldiers fled in the face of stiff resistance, Israel would lose its greatest advantage–fear on the part of the Canaanites.  The fear which spread throughout Canaan at news of the fall of Jericho would give way to a new-found confidence that Israel could be defeated.  Paradoxically, the great confidence that the Israelites felt when Jericho fell, now became fear.  When news reached the people of Israel regarding the defeat at Ai, they were greatly dismayed, and it was the people of Israel who lost the will to fight.  The defeat at Ai was a national disaster.

When the Lord revealed to Joshua that it was Achan who took gold, silver and a Babylonian robe from the remains of Jericho–knowing full-well that the Lord had forbidden such a thing–Joshua learned why the defeat at Ai had come about.  Following the Lord’s instructions to the letter, Joshua led the people of Israel to the Valley of Achor where they carried out the sentence of death upon Achan and his entire family.  They burned all his property, including that which he had stolen, and heaped stones upon their remains, creating a huge pile which served as a lasting monument to Achan’s great sin and the severe penalty he paid for taking things devoted unto the Lord.  Once Achan had been put to death, the Lord’s anger toward Israel was turned away and God would once again ensure that Israel would be victorious and possess the land of Canaan.  This is what unfolds in Joshua chapter 8.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here

Reader Comments (1)

Out of curiosity, why do people use images ,like the one for this blog entry, which are anachronistic for bilical depictions? And what's up with the naked guy with a sword; now that's weird.
March 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlberto

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