Dear church,

“See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai.” – Joshua 8:1

Everything recorded about the second battle of Ai is built upon the grace of God and the repentance of his people. The people of Israel were not perfect. But the difference between them and the nations around them was they were chosen by God in grace, and they responded by repenting of their sin (Joshua 7). God would not move forward with an unrepentant people.

Repentance is not a one-time event in your walk with Christ. It is something you must continually do. Your lifestyle should be marked in some way by repentance. When the Holy Spirit brings to your attention something in your life that is not Christlike – some way of speaking or thinking – you must turn from it. You may find yourself doing this day by day and moment by moment, constantly repenting and turning back toward God.

In doing so, you may find your experience of God becomes more intimate. You may not even have noticed he wasn’t with you until you repent, and then you see clearly his presence. 

The people of Israel buried two bodies, heaped over with stones, in this story about Ai (Joshua 7:26; 8:29). The first marked their repentance from sin. The second marked God’s victory on their behalf. God always is calling us to repentance. 


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