Steven A. Bush - August 18, 2013

Bye Bye To Ai

Bye Bye To Ai

Joshua and all the people of Israel were devastated by their bitter defeat by the small city of Ai.  At the root of their despair was the theft of God's plunder by an Israelite named Achan.  His actions brought God's burning anger against the whole nation.  With the gruesome sight of Achan's execution still fresh in their minds, Israel is down and deeply discouraged.  But God's favor returns and He directs Joshua to once again go up against Ai, this time with God's promise of victory.  God's plan of attack would involve the entire army, not a mere contingent.  It would prove to be a brilliant military strategy with an ambush that Israel pulled off with precision.  The people of Ai were completely destroyed.  In the aftermath of this battle, unlike Jericho, God allows the taking of plunder.  Joshua then builds an altar upon which he makes sacrifices to the LORD.  He also chisels replicas of the Law of Moses and reads every word of it to the people.  Though we are all guilty of breaking God's Law, Jesus kept it completely.  While animal sacrifices were made to atone for sin, they never were sufficient--they merely foreshadowed what Jesus would accomplish for us on the Cross.  The sin of lawbreakers was placed on God the Son who absorbed the wrath of God, the wrath which we all deserved.  The righteousness of God the Son has been imputed to us via His undeserved favor, ignited through the gift of faith.  This is the Gospel.  And the mandate of this message will ever be our mission for there is no news in all the universe more important for us to proclaim than this.

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