We are in Joshua 7:1-8:2 this week as we examine the defeat of Israel at the hands of Ai. It was just last week that we saw Israel defeat the mighty city of Jericho through a clearly divine act. Of course they should be able to take out the much smaller city of Ai.
The difference in outcomes between the two battles is found in the heart of the people. Our lesson brings us right to 7:1 when we read, “But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things…”
The hearts of the people turned away from God and turned toward themselves, with their desires, their sense of self-sufficiency, and their decisions. And it literally killed them.
Sin is pervasive and affects many more than just the sinner. This is a hard lesson for us to learn, but one that we cannot live without.