“And the Lord said unto Joshua, 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 his city, and his land: And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it” (KJV, Jos. 8:1-2).
“And the Lord said unto Joshua”
Father, I thank You for Your desire to speak to me. I see in the life of Joshua that You were concerned with communing with this man. I thank You that You are a God Who does not change. You have given me Your Word, and You have told me that it is through Your Word that You will commune with me. You have shown me Christ, and in Christ, I can see You, Father.
I pray that You would speak to me today. I pray that You would bless my times of devotion and times in Your Word. I pray that when I seek Your face, You would show me Who You are and draw me near to You. I see a great need in my life to know You more. I often wander, and I often stray, Lord; please forgive me for my sin against You. You are deserving of much praise, devotion, and worship.
“Fear not, neither be thou dismayed”
I see in Your Word that You have given many reasons for the Christian not to fear. Fear is an evil foe that grips me when I ought to live for You. You told Joshua many times that he was not to fear. I am not facing the same “fearful” situations that he was in. Joshua was a man of war, but I do not experience such wars. Instead, I see everyday life situations that seem small compared to what Joshua was facing, and they are hard for me. I see everyday life bringing fear into my heart.
I pray that You would give me courage and boldness to live for You. I pray that I would heed Your words, which are just as true for me as they were for Joshua. I see that You have told me that I am not to fear because You are with me. I pray that Your Word would work its way into my heart and that You would help me to recognize Your abiding presence with me as I fight fear in my life.
“take all the people of war with thee”
Father, I pray that You would give me strength to fight for You this day. I find that there are many times in which I can grow weak. I find that there are many times when my strength fails me. But I thank You that the psalmist recognized this about himself, as well. When the strength of my heart fails me, I pray that You would show me that You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
I pray that You would help me to find my strength in You this day. Please help me to take up the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. Cause me to wield the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Show me how I, too, can go into the battles that I face and be victorious.
“and arise, go up to Ai”
I see that You told Joshua to arise. You called Joshua to action. I am reminded of the book of James, which instructs me that faith without works is dead. It would have been one thing for Joshua to say that he believed that You would give him the victory, but the truth of his claim of faith would have been founded in his actions. You called Joshua to action. You told Joshua to arise. I pray that I would get up and rise for You, Lord.
I pray that You would use me and that You would show me the works that You have prepared in advance for me to do. Show me how to live and what I can do that would be pleasing in Your sight.
“see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land”
Father, I thank You for the story that You told me in Joshua 8:1-2. Thank You for the way in which You called Joshua to battle, but You did not leave him to fight on his own. You are truly a good God Who cares for His children. You have shown me in Your Word that when I am afraid, I can put my trust in You. You have shown me that when I enter into the various battles of life, I can look to You, the God Who will fight for me. I am amazed that You would come to my aid when I have let You down so many times before. Nevertheless, You are faithful.
“And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king”
There are times when I look at the situations before me and I forget what You have done in my past. I see that Joshua was reminded of the battle that You had already helped him to win. I see that when David went into battle with Goliath, he remembered that You had already delivered him from the mouth of the lion and the paw of the bear. I am also called to remember the amazing deeds that You have performed in my life.
I pray that You would help me to look at the glorious victories that You have brought about in the lives of others. I pray that You would teach me to look within Your Word and see what You did to deliver the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. Magnify Yourself in my life through the victory that You won in the life of Gideon. Show me Your power on display when You defeated the Assyrian army in the days of Hezekiah.
“only the spoil thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves”
I am reminded of Your promise that You will take care of me. You have told me that I need not fear what the future might hold, but that You will provide for my needs. You have promised that You will take care of those who seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness first. There are many ways in which You may provide for Your children. In the verse at hand, it is seen that You will even provide through victories of war.
“lay thee an ambush for the city behind it”
Father, when I am to go into battle, I pray that I would not go into battle with my own plan. I pray that You would give me wisdom to know how to win the fight. I have been instructed by the apostle Paul to put on the armor of God, for my fight is not against flesh and blood, but instead, I am in a spiritual battle. I have also been told that I must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Your Word tells me that I am to humble myself under the mighty hand of God and that You give grace to the humble. James tells me that I must resist the devil and draw near to You, and when I do so, the devil will flee from me.
I recognize that I need Your help in this world. I will not be able to win against the enemy without You. He is the strong man that has come to hold me captive, and I need One Who is stronger. Jesus, I need You to bind the strong man so that I may walk in freedom. Jesus, deliver me from the sins that so easily beset me. Show me how to walk with You and to live a life that is pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.