EHP Day 27-Time With the Word of God
At that time Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, …And they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings. And there, in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. And all Israel, sojourner as well as native born, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark…just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at the first, to bless the people of Israel. And afterward Joshua read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.
Under Joshua’s obedient leadership, Israel not only crossed the Jordan River successfully (at flooding time), but also began defeating the Canaanite cities and armies in impressive fashion. That is until Ai. Because of one soldier’s disobedient sin (Achan, cf. 7:20-21), 3 dozen Israeli soldiers lay dead on the battlefield. Joshua was distraught. Achan confessed and was executed. God’s blessing returned, and soon Ai joined the list of defeated cities.
Still, Joshua wasn’t satisfied. Notice the first words of the passage, “At that time…” Joshua knew Israel was guaranteed victory IF they fully obeyed God’s word; and utter defeat IF they chose independent, selfish acts of disobedience. On a key mountain, Joshua builds an altar, asking the priests to lead the nation in sacrificial worship. And… this leader takes the time to write the Law of Moses on flat stones (we’re talking Exodus and Leviticus!)…and then also takes the time to read “all that is written in the book of the Law” to the people. “There was not a word that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read” to EVERYONE! They all stood before the Lord and listened to the Lord. Impressive…to say the least. And a tremendous investment in their future.