The first battle was at Jericho (Joshua 5:13 – 6:27). It is important to note that no two battles, then or now, are exactly alike. At the Red Sea the Jews were to stand still and see God deliver (Exodus 14:3), but against Amalek the men were to take up weapons and fight (Exodus 17:9). Now at Jericho they were told to march around the walls in faith and God would take care of the walls (Joshua 6:1-3). The Jews followed the Ark of the Covenant which symbolized the seat of God’s presence.
LESSON FOR TODAY: Each battle we fight will be different than the battles others fight, and even different than past battles we were involved in. We must follow God’s lead each time. There is no one way or ‘best’ way – be sensitive and follow God. Don’t look for a magic formula – obedience to God brings victory, disobedience brings defeat.
Despite victory over great Jericho, the Jews were soundly defeated in their next battle against a small outpost called Ai because there was sin in the camp (Joshua 6:18-19; 7:13). Achan tried to keep that which belonged to God. This sin was confessed and removed from the camp, and then there was victory at Ai. We, too, must make sure there is no sin in our lives or we won’t have victory but will live in defeat.
LESSON FOR TODAY: An entirely new strategy was used for victory at Ai – an ambush from behind the town. There is no magic formula, no one human leader, and no ritual that guarantees victory. Sensitivity to God’s leading and following His Spirit is the only sure way to win. Don’t be judging the way God leads others, and don’t limit Him in what He wants to do to bring victory in your situation.
After these victories the Jews paused to regroup and refocus. By this time the tribes in the north and south had started unifying to better stand against the Jews.
LESSON FOR TODAY: Satan’s opposition grows stronger in time. The enemy does not give up and surrender. He often gathers more demons and even motivates unbelieving human beings in opposition against God’s people. Big victories on our part often bring bigger opposition from Satan and his demons.
(If I can answer questions or offer personal counsel, or if you would like a free copy of my Spiritual Warfare Handbook, email me at Jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org or download it from http://sw.christiantrainingonline.org/. My next book, Spiritual Warfare in the Bible, which is a more advanced treatment of spiritual warfare, is also available there for free.)