After the disastrous attempt to take Ai, another attempt had to be made to take the city.
Joshua had lost a battle but he was not giving up the war.
Chapter 8 opens with a victorious voice. God was speaking. Joshua was given clear instructions on how to take the city of Ai. There was a very noticeable difference in the guidelines God put down in the taking of Ai from that of Jericho - Read Joshua 8:2 again.
Surprisingly, Israel was allowed to take the spoil of Ai as their own booty. Remember this is what cost Achan and his household their life. The first fruits belong to the Lord. The first occurrence of an offering to the Lord is found in Genesis 4. Abel offered the firstlings of his flock to the Lord. We also see Abram give a tenth of all he had got in battle to King of Salem (Genesis 14:18-20)
The first fruit of all that God blesses us with should be offered to God as an offering of our thanks, praise gratitude and worship to him. This is not a law but a blessing. Israel was to win many battles in the Land of Cannan. The spoil of the city, Jericho, was to act as their offering or tithes.
Achan put his dirty fingers on it and paid the price. Many Christians today deny themselves a blessing because they do not render to God the things that belong to God (Mathew 22:21)
When God asks us to do something it is for our good and blessing. God wants us to enjoy the riches he has put on the earth - not serve them.
1. God had given the city of Ai to Joshua but he still had to fight for it - verse 1. Does this sound familiar? What does it tell us.
2. The Israelites were allowed to take the spoil of Ai as their booty (verse 2).
How does this differ from the instructions given concerning Jericho?
Why do you think God allowed them to keep the spoil?
Does God still want us to enjoy the good things of this earth? 2 Peter 2:2-43.
3. Describe the military tactic employed to take the city of Jericho?
4. Can you tell of any situation where God has given you very specific instructions on how do something?
5. Explain what Joshua did in Joshua 8: 30 - 31?
How can we build an altar to God today?