After Israel’s defeat in Ai because Achan hid banned material, God told Israel not to fear. Ai was Israel’s first defeat after experiencing a smashing victory over Jericho. They lost confidence. Now God assured them of victory. He instructed the army to take only the spoil and cattle, the original command Israel disobeyed. Joshua chose 30,000 valiant men who set an ambush behind the city as God commanded. The Lord told him to stretch out his javelin toward Ai for He would defeat them. They captured Ai’s king alive and Joshua did not withdraw his hand from the sword until all Ai was utterly defeated (Josh. 8:1-3,18-26).
The literal meaning of valiant is “writhe in pain or twisting in labor pangs.” Warriors in the spiritual battle must overcome fear and labor pain. We must trust God’s promise for victory (Rom. 8:37). In addition, God has given us the sword of the Spirit or Word of God as our primary offensive weapon of spiritual warfare that we put on by prayer (Eph. 6:17-18). In the midst of our fear, we don’t rely on our own power, but God’s.
Joshua hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening and at sunset threw his body toward the entrance of city gate. He raised a great heap of stones as a reminder of the victory (Josh. 8:29). Testimonies of spiritual victories encourage others in their faith.
Joshua built an altar of uncut stones to Lord, offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings. He wrote a copy of the law on the stones. All Israel, including elders, stranger, alien, officers and judges stood on both sides of ark. Then Joshua read the law, emphasizing the blessing and curse. All the word was read before the assembly (Josh. 8:30-35). Failure in our spiritual battle provides the motivation to read God’s word. We need constant reminders that obedience brings blessing and disobedience reap a curse. God is no respecter of persons.
Claim Phil. 4:6-7 in the situation where you are experiencing fear and then pray about it. Share your testimony with someone to encourage them to trust God in prayer.