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  The Great Bible Story #45
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Jericho and Ai

Jacob Ninan
Jericho was the first kingdom which Israel faced after they crossed Jordan. God wanted to give them a special victory the first time. So He asked Joshua to have some armed men lead a procession of seven priests blowing ram's horns followed by priests carrying the ark of the covenant. This procession was to go around the city wall every day for six days. During this time the people who were watching had to be completely quiet. On the seventh day, the procession was to go around the city seven times. At the end of the last round, when the priests blew their horns all the people were to give a loud shout.

The people of Jericho locked themselves up inside their city wall, watching the daily procession in fear. On the seventh day, when Israel gave a shout, the wall of Jericho came crashing down. Then the army of Israel walked straight in and looted the whole city! God told the people not to take anything for themselves from the city. They were to take the gold, silver and iron to be put into the treasury of God. Joshua instructed the two spies to bring out Rahab and her family. The rest of the people in the city were all killed, along with all their animals, and the city was burnt up.

The next city to be conquered was Ai. The spies reported that it was a small place and only about three thousand men would need to go to fight. But Israel was thoroughly defeated. Joshua and the people were flabbergasted and Joshua asked God why He had given them this defeat. God replied was that this was the result of sin among the people. Joshua asked God to show the culprit as they cast lots among the people. Finally one man called Achan was found, and he confessed that he had seen some gold, silver and a precious mantle in Jericho, coveted them, and taken and hidden them under his tent. Joshua and all the people stoned Achan and his entire family to death, and raised a heap of stones over them, in order to avert God's judgment.

Then Joshua sent many soldiers at night to go and stay behind Ai. In the morning, Joshua and some other soldiers attacked the gate of Ai, and as the people of Ai came to fight, they pretended to flee in defeat. The people of Ai left the city and ran after them, at which time the soldiers who were behind came and set the city on fire. Then Joshua and his soldiers turned around and destroyed the people of Ai!

We must know that the power is not in methods but in God! Instead of imitating methods, we need to trust God.


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