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3. Consecrated; Yes Consecrated

October 2, 2009

Text:   Joshua 5:1-7:26

Outline:    I. Consecrated at Gilgal           Joshua 5:1-12

                       II. Success at Jericho              Joshua 5:13-6:27

                      III. Consequences at Ai           Joshua 7:1-12

                      IV. Consecrated Again for Ai      Joshua 7:13-26

Context/Discussion/Comments:

     If one assumes about 2 million people crossed over the Jordan River [3 tribes less fighting men stayed back] and each family averaged 4 members and occupied only 625 square feet for themselves and their animals, Israel would occupy about 11.2 square miles or 3.4 miles per side. Remember, Israel is camped 2-4 miles NE of Jericho. Biblical Jericho is said to occupy a total of 771,750 square feet based on excavations of their walls or .028 square miles. Therefore, Israel occupies a space greater than 400 times that of Jericho. No wonder Jericho was trembling. In other words, Jericho and Ai were “weak” compared to Israel.

     Word has spread about how Israel was able to cross the Jordan River and the kings west of the Jordan River are afraid. Israel stops advancing and circumcises all their males because they had a new generation of males who were born in the desert and never circumcised. It’s surprising that this was not done before they crossed the Jordan River. It is time for the Passover celebration. The manna stops being delivered and Israel now eats the fruit of the land. They are home at last.

     Joshua goes over toward Jericho and meets the Lord’s commander [the angel Michael] where he gets specific orders for what to do to make Jericho fall into the hands of the Israelites. They are to march around the city, led by the Ark, for 6 days. They are to march around the city 7 times on the 7th day while the priests blow trumpets. When they hear a long blast on the trumpets, the people are to shout and the walls will tumble. All the people and animals are killed with the exception of Rahab and her family. All the precious metal is saved for the Lord and the city is burned, destroyed, and cursed.

     Israel moves on to Ai, sending out spies who recommend a small force. But Ai routs the Israelites such that Israel is trembling with fear. Joshua is humbled and meditates before the Lord [Ark] and even questions God’s wisdom. God reveals that sin [disobedience] is present because someone has kept spoils from the Lord. Israel is commanded to consecrate themselves and present themselves before the Lord the next day so the Lord can identify the disobedient. Achan is identified and admits his guilt. Achan, his family, and all their possessions were taken outside the camp where they were stoned, burned, and buried.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Consecration is a necessary step for winning life’s battles. An attitude of continual consecration is necessary for continual obedience for the continual battles of life.

  2. Refusing to acknowledge God’s sovereign commands leads to destruction.

  3. Confession is good but the Lord desires a repentant heart. But neither confession or repentance guarantees the Lord’s mercy while on  earth.

  4. The Lord teaches us by example. Fear the Lord and be a positive example, not a negative one. Identify a close friend or relative who fears the Lord and emulate their lifestyle. Prayer is likely to be their most important priority.

  5. When trouble comes upon you, don’t jump to conclusions. Humbly bring those troubles before the throne of God and let Him reveal His perfect will.

  6. Do not let failure cause you to be despondent. Seek the Lord and take corrective action. Be the responsible leader God has chosen you to be.

  7. Comprehend God’s requirement for obedience to facilitate successful ministries on His behalf.

  8. Observe the children of the true and living God and decide to follow Him.

     Throughout the Pentateuch we discuss God’s desire to sanctify us, to make us holy, and to consecrate us for His service. Consider the following chart to note their similarities and their differences.

joshua-sanctify-holy-consecrate

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