Jesse M. Hendley
This book of Joshua is wonderful. We have already studied the conquest of Jericho. Now we come to the conquest of Ai in chapter 8, this great chapter of Joshua. You remember that the people of Israel had tried to take Ai before they were defeated because there was sin in the camp. But we learned that when they found the sin, and it was confessed and judged, then the Lord came back, sin makes God walk away from us, but God came back to the people and blessed them and now that sin is confessed and gotten right, God says, "fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and the city and his land:" So we read in verse 3, "So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them out by night."
Thirty thousand men. This is interesting, isn't it as we study this taking of Ai. And then you remember how they did it. Joshua set an ambush. He took twenty-five thousand of his men and put them behind the city in ambush so the people wouldn't see. He took the other five thousand of the thirty thousand and marched them up to the front of the city where the main gate was, for they had walled cities in those days you remember, and he marched them up to the front. The people of Ai saw the five thousand and they came outside the gates and began to attack the five thousand. Well the five thousand made as though they were defeated or afraid and began to run as they had done before, when the Aites had defeated them, and killed thirty-six of the people of Israel because there was sin in the camp.
God had to judge that sin. So as these five thousand began to run, the people of Ai rode out against them. As they got there in the distance, when the people of ambush saw the people of Ai had gone out of the city they entered into the city and ...
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