7:1-26 – This chapter begins with the word, ‘But’ – This is ominous! What comes next? – Sin: ‘the people of Israel broke faith with regard to the devoted things’. The sin was Achan’s, yet it affected the whole people of Israel: ‘the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel’ (1). Sin is like infection – it spreads! What kind of effect do your actions have on other people? Cain asked, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper (Genesis 4:9). His question was an expression of callous indifference. There is no place for this attitude among God’s people: ‘Decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother’ (Romans 14:13). Read the story of Achan, and remember this: ‘Be sure your sin will find you out’ (Numbers 32:23). Let no one have good cause to ask, ‘Why did you bring trouble on us’ (25).
8:1-35 – The victory was given by the Lord: ‘I have given into your hand…’ (1). The people still had to claim the victory. Israel’s triumph was a spiritual victory from which we can learn much. We learn, first, that ‘the battle is the Lord’s’ (7; 1 Samuel 17:47; 2 Chronicles 20:15). Believing the Lord’s promise – ‘the Lord your God will give it into your hand’ (7) – we act upon His command: ‘Do what the Lord has commanded’ (8). God’s work is to be done in God’s way – Believing the promise, Obeying the command (18) – with God’s Word at the centre. We need the whole Word of God – ‘all that is written…’. In this, we learn from Joshua – ‘He did not leave out one word from everything Moses had commanded’. We need ‘the blessing and the curse’ – the strong warnings as well as the precious promises (34-35).