This is next week’s Sunday School lesson and I somehow have never posted it, maybe because it’s hard to write a lot about Joshua continues the fight because there’s not any super “bloggable” activities. It’s more of a discuss what’s going on sort of lesson.
This, of course, is happening right after Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.
What happens in Joshua continues the fight
The Israelites were very excited having just defeated Jericho. They continued on to the city of Ai. Joshua sent two spies to check on the city. They returned back and said, “We only need 3000 soldiers to defeat it.”
The 3000 Israelites went out to attack, but were driven back and chased off by the soldiers of Ai.
The Israelites were despondent and asked God why they had lost. God answered them, “Someone among you has sinned, and you are being punished for it.”
The leaders prayed about it and had each tribe stand before God. God separated out Judah, then he separated out the clan, the family, and finally Achan stood before the group guilty of stealing and hiding something from Jericho.
After he was punished the Israelites went out again and took all of the fighting men. One third of the men lured the army of Ai away from the town, while the rest went in and attacked the city.
The King of Ai returned to see the city burning.
Joshua and the Israelites fought many more battles with God fighting for them. At the end of his life Joshua gathered all of the Israelites together and challenged them to follow God and not follow the gods of the Canaanites.
But that’s not the end of the story.
There’s another story here too. See news of the Israelites victories spread all over the land of Canaan, and so one of the nearby cities thought, “We need to make a deal with these Israelites so we aren’t destroyed.” So they dressed in rags, they got moldy food, and then they went to meet Joshua.
“Look,” they said, “We’ve traveled super duper far, so far our brand new clothes are now rags. It’s crazy, but more to the point, we’ve heard your people are winning every battle, and we want to make a treaty with you. We promise not to fight you, if you let us live. Sound good?”
Well, Joshua thought that sounded great! So, he hurried up and signed the treaty. Later when he’s talking with God, God says, “Yeah that whole treaty thing. Really bad idea. REALLY bad. You should have talked with me first.”
Joshua travels on and gets to the next town and lo and behold it’s all those people he talked with a few days ago. He is rather upset.
But, he keeps his word, “Since you lied to us, you will be servants in Israel all the days of your life.”
What I learn from Joshua Continues the Fight
I learn God cares about sin. We see this over and over again, but here it is shown yet again that God cares if someone has sinned. It’s not just “it’s okay, it’ll pass.” No, it’s really important to Him. If nothing else the day we celebrated recently, Easter Sunday should illustrate how seriously God takes sin. At the end of his life Joshua challenges the Israelites, “Who are you going to serve? Will you serve God? Or will you serve the false gods of the surrounding lands?”
The next thing I notice, be careful who your friends are. Joshua doesn’t even think twice about forming an alliance with his visitors, he doesn’t talk to anyone, he just acts. And a few days later discovers just how bad an idea that was.
All too often we do the same thing. We make friends or date someone and ignore the sound advice from other friends or parents. I’ve certainly seen it happen to some of my friends, I’m sure if I think a bit I can remember a time I did that too.
I really want my kids to learn this lesson early in life, so they are spared the pain of questionable friends or love interests.
More ideas for Joshua continues the fight
Joshua continues the fight lesson– my storybook, questions, and activities
And that’s all I got, because there’s not a lot of lessons on this topic, if I find some I’ll add them in.
Or get all of the Joshua, Judges, and Ruth lessons in one place.