Sermons

Summary: God allowed plunder at Ai but not at Jericho, why?

Let us continue worshiping our God by listening and learning from His Word. Open your Bibles to the Book of Joshua, which tells the story of the Israelites, God’s chosen People. We can learn much from the Israelites who were freed from their bondage in Egypt and were called to live a life with God. I may not have stated it before, but we Christians today are God’s Chosen People, who have been freed from the bondage of sin. Jesus Christ died for all our sins and we have life with God.

I trust that all of you personally believe in Jesus Christ as God, who became a human being on earth to die for all of our sins but rose from the dead to lead us to live life to the fullest and have the promise of eternal live with God.

The Israelites, after being freed from Egypt, were disciplined for 40 years in the desert to prepare them to live with God with joy in a land filled with milk and honey. Even though a promised life with God was given, the Israelites struggled with their sins as they conquered the Promised Land. We are just like the Israelites of old. America was the promised land for many Christians who left their old country in the past; as we live today in our Promised Land, how are we doing with our sins? Let us learn from God and the Israelites.

Open your bibles to Joshua 7….. Read again with me v2-5….. and v11-13….

And so, the Israelites consecrated themselves, cleansed themselves of sin and they burned all the stolen things along with Achan and his family. I mentioned this before, we Christians should, actually must, regularly cleanse ourselves of sin and all ungodly things in our lives with the power of Jesus Christ, our Only Savior and Lord!

Read along with me now Joshua 8:1-29….

The last time the Israelites attacked Ai, we do not read God telling them to go nor Joshua praying about it and they failed miserably! Now we read in Joshua 8, v1-2: God tells the Israelites to take Ai and God gave a general plan! A lesson to note here: Be careful in taking action if you have not heard from God or you have not prayed about it! Sounds so simple but I know personally that we don’t do this always; we must work on it and always claim the forgiveness of sins through the cross of Christ.

v3-8: Joshua gave detailed orders to the Israelites. Since it does not tell us here, I think there is a principle to note here: God gave a general plan but allowed Joshua with the details. God always allows us to make choices but we should always pray about them.

v9-17: Joshua and the Israelites obeyed God.

v18-19: God instructs Joshua to hold out a javelin towards Ai and the men in the ambush captured the city!

Take a look again at v19…..

Joshua was on the other side of the city from the men who were to ambush the city. How did the men in the ambush knew that Joshua held the javelin??

God said He would deliver the city to the Israelites and God was the only one who could see everything and alerted the men to capture the city! Joshua held the javelin but God orchestrated the ambush! The Israelites could not have captured Ai without God’s help!

Our prayers are just like this; we pray for people across the city or across the world, we may not see what is actually going on with those people’s lives, but God sees everything and hears all our prayers and God will respond positively if our own hearts are right with God.

v20-29: The Israelites captured and destroyed the City of Ai and all its people but this time God allowed them to carry off livestock and plunder! Now, it does not tell us why God would allow them to take plunder from Ai and not take anything from Jericho; any thoughts why God allowed the Israelites to take plunder from Ai and not from Jericho??

There may be at least 3 reasons why God would allow plunder from Ai and not from Jericho:

a. God taught a lesson to all about sin in Jericho!

b. God must know that the Israelites would still covet and gave them grace to take plunder from Ai!

c. Material things are not evil by themselves!

We will finish Joshua 8 next week; let us summarize what we should apply to our lives from our passage this morning.

First of all we need to remind ourselves,

1. Cleanse our hearts of sin on a regular basis (apply 1 John 1:9 in the Name of Jesus Christ!)

2. Always listen to God’s Word for life’s instructions!

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Talk about it...

Dirk Van Rijn

commented on Apr 27, 2016

The reason why God did not allow Isreal to plunder Jericho because it was the first city. All the first belongs to God. This is the principle of tithing... From all things (spoils, salary), you shall give the first to God.

Paul Clemente

commented on Jul 12, 2016

i appreciate you reading and commenting, but my philosophy of preaching is to try and stay in context of the text; there is nothing in this passage which alludes to first things or tithing; everything actually belongs to God and as chrisitians today we are to give ALL, not just the first things or a tenth

Christina Benson

commented on Feb 1, 2019

I read this article and all comments entirely; then prayed and asked God for wisdom. He has directed to me back to you. Yours is the way, thank you for sharing even though it was not the popular way of thought. Popular is hardly right, and these days truth seems to be an embarrassment, or something to be afraid of with people. I hunt God, Jesus my messiah and the Holy Spirit. The only truths left. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Christina Benson

commented on Feb 1, 2019

My comment was left for DIRK, VAN RIJN.

Christina Benson

commented on Feb 1, 2019

My comment was left for DIRK, VAN RIJN.

Paul Clemente

commented on Feb 1, 2019

r u saying u agree with dirk??

Michael Dirmeier

commented on Oct 17, 2017

Deut 20:16-18 says that certain cities are to be totally destroyed. Jericho was one of these, Ai was not. That's why Israel was allowed to plunder Ai.

Paul Clemente

commented on Feb 1, 2019

again, we must be careful in taking things out of context; ur point maybe true BUT there is a danger in doing this; we can pull many things from other scriptures that may seem to connect to others when they really may not; ONLY GOD really knows everything therefore we must live and learn from the main passage; there are many examples; some that come to mind: the red ribbon of rehab is supposed to represent the blood of Christ? rev 3:20 is used for evangelism when it is actually for Believers already; I can do all thing with Christ who strengthens me is not about power BUT in context is about contentment

Katelyn Barnes

commented on Jun 24, 2019

Mr. Clemente, I am a little confused by your point here. If I understood correctly, you were asserting that the examples you provided of Rahab and Revelation, the meanings are only known by God and so we must learn from and not veer from the main passage? But looking at other scriptures (what you are saying is veering from the “main passage,” using scripture out of context) are what actually lets us know that these things are true. You could not just look at the story of Rahab and know that the red ribbon is representative of the blood of Christ, we must know the context of the story of Christ’s work on the cross and really the story of reconciliation throughout the entirety of the Bible? To understand Revelation, we must know the scriptures in Old Testament...

Paul Clemente

commented on Jun 24, 2019

I don't think I ever said that the rahab story and rev 3:20 can not be understood; just study it in context! God speaks to us through Scriptures, therefore hear God in context of a verse like with rahab and the red marker: there is no reference of the red ribbon connected with Christ (or can we find anything in scriptures that connect the 2); there is danger when we, with our finite minds, come up with a theory that's really not stated clearly in scripture (another one I believe is when people even preachers say 'once saved always saved" - where is that clearly stated in scripture?) we must listen to God as He speaks in context in Scripture; and yes there are many times when God states more info in other parts of Scripture; BUT, let us not put something into God's word when he really does not state it (a big problem right now is many "Christians" are believing in the "gap theory" - that something happened between Gen1:1 and 1:2; if we can do that, why not insert whatever we want! :( re: rev. 3:20, what I am saying is look at that verse in context as God stated it; all Christians are to evangelize, but that verse is for Christians not non-christians, I hope this helps your understanding; you can always email me at anbcptl@outlook.com if you still want to discuss

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