-The conquest of Ai now resumes after the situation with the sin of Achan. God told Joshua not to fear or be dismayed, but to arise and go up to Ai, for had given it into their hands along with its king. This time the LORD would allow for some spoil to be taken along with the city’s cattle as plunder for themselves. Instructions were given for an ambush, which Joshua set into motion with great expertise. The campaign was totally successful as they choose 30,000 valiant men of war for the fight. They utterly destroyed the 12,000 of Ai who left their city undefended and captured its king bringing him before Joshua to be hanged on a tree. The entire city was burned according to the word of the LORD. So “Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.” Israel only took the cattle and the spoil as plunder according to the word of the LORD, which He had commanded to Joshua. After Ai was burned and the king hanged, his body was thrown at the entrance of the city gate and covered with stones that stood there until the writing of the text (Joshua 8:1-29).
-Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD in Mount Ebal just as Moses had commanded the sons of Israel to do (Exodus 20:25, Deuteronomy 27:1-9). He wrote there a copy of the Law of Moses, and they offered burnt offerings before the LORD their God along with sacrificing peace offerings. The Ark of the Covenant was present with all of Israel’s elders, officers, judges, and the Levitical priests doing their prescribed duties in these days of celebration within the land of promise. Half stood on Mount Gerizim and half on Mount Ebal as the entire book of the Law was read by Joshua to all the assembly of Israel including their women, their little ones, and the strangers who were living among them (Deuteronomy 27:10-28:68, Joshua 8:30-35).
-*Application* This victory was coroneted with a solemn remembrance of where the nation had been and an honoring of their majestic God who had given them success according to His word. Let us consider proper protocol in the special events of our lives as sacred. Honor the things that the LORD prescribes and expects. Don’t ever be irreverent in whatever pomp and circumstance that may be required in a formal setting that is set aside to reflect and meditate on the goodness of the Sovereign. While we must be careful to not follow mundane traditions of man, the LORD is a God of decorum and expects us to follow His precepts that He decrees in an appropriate fashion.
Verse to Memorize: Joshua 8:26