By: Darrelyn L. Tutt"Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in Mount Ebal. As Moses the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron, and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings. And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel."Joshua 8:30-32------Today's Read: Joshua 7-8In order to appreciate this "writing in stone" we must understand what preceded it.The battle and conquest of Jericho was the first significant and sizeable successful battle fought in the land of Canaan. The victory that emerged from that battle garnered the attention and respect of surrounding countries.The second battle expected to amount to nothing turned into a sizeable "something" and secured the shaken Israel with a sound defeat.Joshua, the commander and captain of conquest, was beside himself.Calling out to God, he questioned the power and authority of God, and learned that the defeat of Ai was a result of "sin in the camp."Hmmm ...While Achan quietly hunkered down in the midst, hiding in sin and hiding his sin, an entire body was affected and infected by his seemingly "hidden sin" tucked away under a tent.God wasn't impressed, God wasn't fooled, and His anger was aroused;This was a direct violation of His word and command." ... When I (Achan) saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment and two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them and took them, and behold they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it."Joshua 7:21------It was not until Achan's sin was openly exposed, and that he got "busted and caught," and appointed the death sentence ... that God allowed Israel to enjoy the prosperity, provision, and blessing He had promised them.Some commentators seem surprised that Joshua would slow his course of conquest to make time for the "writing of the law in stone" at such a critical time when more battles needed to be fought.I'm not surprised at all:Do we not see the heart of Joshua here and understand that he is returning himself and the people to the word of God suggesting and imposing the wonder of His word upon them as intrinsic to success for all battles?Does Joshua not hear and rehearse within himself the lines which God spoke to him on the day of his "crowning?""This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then Thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed;For the Lord Thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest."Joshua 1:8-9-----God be praised that Joshua knew his power base!He submitted to the power and authority of God Almighty and took time to "write in stone" the prescribed words and commands necessary for a nation's success.Had the defeat of Ai never transpired ... Perhaps the "words written in stone" would've seemed less inspired.God knows how to move His glory to the forefront.To Him be all praise.------Seize the wisdom, wonder, and message in this study and apply it to your own personal life, my friend, if you wish to enjoy true success on earth.Adhere to the authority of God's word ... for He is able to sustain, strengthen, and stabilize all men in their "defeated" hour with a hope and power that displays itself openly and redemptively to all that return to Him and rely on Him.The key to success in battle lies in the God who secures the battle.Look to Him,Listen to Him,And lean on Him.Resist the ways of man;Insist on the ways of God ...And then watch the Captain of the Host secure "His" battle.------"For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength ..."Isaiah 30:15
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