The Israelites had just destroyed and plundered the large city of Jericho. The next dot on the map to be conquered in the Promised Land was the small city of Ai. Israel’s leader, Joshua, wisely sent spies into the hill country to check out the area. They returned and advised Joshua, “Ai is small potatoes. Just send a small group of men up there to fight them.”
Joshua followed their advice and sent about three thousand men to fight Ai.
and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. (Joshua 7:5)
The agonizing defeat at Ai resembles today’s losses by Christian businesses who refuse to provide their goods and services for gay weddings and events. Yet, there is one big difference: our hearts have not melted as yet.
So, we keep going into battle over and over again against the gays, filled with righteous indignation and presumption that God is with us, but is He?
Maybe we should find out.
Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? … What will You do for Your great name?” (Joshua 7:6, 7a, 8b)
We need to follow Joshua’s example and humble ourselves in fasting and prayer so that the Lord will reveal our hearts to us.
The #1 Rule in spiritual warfare: we can’t defeat the kingdom of darkness with darkness in our own hearts. We must repent.
(Continued in Part 1o)