Joshua chapters 5 and 6 recount the sacking of Jericho. This is one of the most memorable stories in scripture. Jericho was the first city the Israelites encountered after crossing the Jordan River, and it was a doozy, perched on a hill with large fortified walls. And yet it was no problem for God, as recounted in these chapters.
I am a big fan of Biblical apologetics, including Biblical Creation and Biblical archaeology. The Jericho site is a fantastic example of archaeology confirming what the Bible says. Several key findings back up the Biblical narrative: Jericho was a walled city that was destroyed The walls were discovered to have fallen outwards, which is the opposite of what you would expect during a siege. Also, one section of the wall was still intact, with housing inside of it, which would match up with the account of Rahab the prostitute. Finally, the city had been burned afterwards, and burned containers full of grain were found, demonstrating that the siege would not have been a long siege, and it would have occurred not long after the harvest, all of which again backs up the Biblical account.
You can read about these findings here: https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/walls-jericho-0012893 Findings like this should be exciting for Christians to hear about, and can always be used as a resource in developing the faith of others.
Chapters 7 and 8 recounts the sin of Achan and how it hindered God’s people in their ultimate success against Ai. During the destruction of Jericho, Achan took some forbidden items for himself and hid them in his tent. After the Israelites failed in their first attempt to take Ai, Achan’s sin was laid bare. Many of us have regular hidden sin in our lives, such as addictions to narcotics, alcohol or pornography. Greed, pride, envy and unrighteous anger are other examples.
Chapter 7, verse 12b says, “I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” When you are living in sin, God cannot be with you. When you choose a life of sin, you are in effect turning your back to God. You are choosing destruction instead of life. Secret sins are the most likely to deceive us because we are not getting wise counsel from others. Also, we somehow justify continuing in these secret sins, having been deceived, and making them much harder to break away from. On the outside we seem fine. But on the inside, we rot away. And God knows.
If you are suffering from secret sin, do the best thing you can do, which is to repent of the sin and share the struggle with someone else who can hold you accountable and support you. This is proven to be the most effective way to break those hidden chains. Choose everlasting life, not destruction.
Today’s Bible reading can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+5-8&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be Joshua 9-11 as we continue searching God’s Word on the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan