Kendra’s Bible Study: Joshua 8: 9-17

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s online Bible study.  This is a place where women can come together and share their journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity.  We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you!

Kendra suggests you use the following process when studying Scripture.  We have included an example of this process from John 1:1.

Step 1:  Pray
Step 2: Read God’s Word (look at the passage)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  
Step 3: What Does God’s Word Say? (list the facts)
1 In the beginning the Word was with God and was God.
Step 4: What Does God’s Word Mean? (learn the lessons)
1 God‘s Word is not just ancient philosophy, it is eternal Truth.
Step 5: What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? (listen to his voice)
1 How do I view the Bible?

Kendra Graham NOTES from Joshua 8:9-17

FACTS from verses 11-13
11. All the people of war came before the city and camped. 
12. He took 5,000 men and set them in ambush.
13. Joshua spent the night in the valley.

LESSONS from verses 11:13: 
Sometimes God’s plan leads to an offensive attack at the doorstep of our enemies.

God’s plan involves my active obedience and it will probably take an insane amount of   courage that will strengthen my faith in the end.  It is never easy.  There is always a gap between what I can do and what God must do…. that gap will demand courage and will produce faith in my life.  

APPLICATION from verses 11:13:
Would I rather live in a defensive mode or offensive?  Am I willing to go on the offensive against the enemy?  Are there places and things if God calls me to do them that I just won’t do? “I’ll go there, but I won’t go there”?

Do I trust God if He asks me to place myself in a position of vulnerability in front of friend or foe? Or do I demand from God a place to play it safe and a constant “comfort zone”?

Will I press in to what God is asking of me, or get out?  Was I thinking this would be easier than it really is?

FACTS from verses 14-17
14.The king saw it, rose and went to meet Israel in battle. 15. Israel pretended to be beaten and fled. 16.All the people pursued and were drawn away from the city. 17. They left the city unguarded

LESSONS from verses 14-17
14. Often the ENEMY will use the EXACT SAME strategy against me until it doesn’t work anymore.
15. GOD uses a NEW strategy with His people, Trust God with His plan and the results.
16- 17. The enemy is often times bold in their pride and arrogance, James 4:6 “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” The enemy will over-reach due to their arrogance.

APPLICATION from verses 14-17:
What strategy for defeat has the enemy used on me time and time again and has found victory in my defeat?

Have I asked God what His plan is, His new strategy for the enemies defeat and His victory in my past or present circumstances?  Am I willing to “do all”  according to God’s plan even if I don’t like it, or it’s not easy, or it doesn’t make any sense?

When do I think the arrogant enemy just prospers and prospers thinking that God does not see it?  Do I take God at His Word and trust that He is in control?

Homework for next week: Joshua 8: 18-23, 29

Share with us your lesson(s) and what it means to you. 
Do you know someone that might be blessed by joining our study?  Please share this blog link with them.    

10 thoughts on “Kendra’s Bible Study: Joshua 8: 9-17”

  1. Good morning, Kendra! I haven’t started this week’s study yet but I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the time you take to share this study with me and so many others. I’m sure sometimes you wonder why bother when so few of us are responding. I am why. This study has helped me to grow in so many ways and has helped my walk with Christ to be a more personal one. So, when the devil kicks you around and whispers you are just wasting your time, tell him that Stef needs you and countless others do too who, though they may not respond, are still involved with this study but for whatever reasons are leaving their responses personal.♥

    9. Joshua left his his warriors to have a night to themselves. Whether this was for them to talk amongst themselves, plan strategies, and/or question if this time was really going to be different is anyone’s guess. Joshua though stayed behind with his people–to comfort them or to gain comfort from them?
    10. We all need so much reassurance. Joshua did this again with his tribe. He took the elders with him to show they too were in agreement (who doesn’t want an older, wiser soul saying what you are doing is right?).
    11. Joshua and the men of war were in full view of the enemy. Taunting them? Hmn. Never a wise thing to do, if you ask me.
    12. Unknownst though to Ai, Joshua had people in the background, preparing for battle.
    13. Joshua spent this night in the valley. In perfect peace, he slept in full view of the enemy.
    14. When the king saw this, he was enraged! How dare Joshua taunt him in this manner? He didn’t take time to think, he just basically went for his throat.
    15. Joshua and his men pretended to be beaten. Away from the desert and back to their old lives they all fled.
    16. Everyone in Ai was called to pursue them. They left their city to chase down these flagrant Israelites again. “Perhaps they didn’t learn their lesson the first time?’ the king must have thought.
    17. So he and all of his kingdom chased Israel. In their quest for another beat down of them, they left their home, their treasures, their livelihoods just to show Israel who was boss.


    9. As a leader, sometimes you have to take a step back. Whether that’s for the others to be given the opportunity to step up, or if it’s for you yourself to be refreshed, sometimes it just needs to be done. When have I stepped back so that someone else could be in charge? Is there someone as–if not more–capable than me to lead this group?
    10. Do I muster those around me? Do I build them up and encourage them to face the enemy? Do I back up my motivation by using the others who are more knowledgeable than I?
    11. The enemy has his sights on me. Do I carelessly put myself within his reach?
    12. Do I have someone who “has my back?” to take up the slack when I am being pursued by the evil one?
    13. Am I able to rest peacefully when there is so much evil around me? In my total vulnerable state of exposure, does my faith in God shine through?
    14. When my faith IS strong, when I am sure, confident does the enemy become outraged by it, as Ai’s king was?
    16. Has Satan ever unleashed his whole army against me?
    17. Have I ever made someone so mad, so fearful of my stance as a Christian, that s/he made it her/his life’s mission to destroy me once and for all?

  3. Stefanie, You have kind words to say. I’m also enjoying this study. It really is the challenge that I need right now. Here’s my thoughts for what they are worth. It’s been somewhat of an emotional week for me.

    v.10 Joshua rose early & mustered the people.
    v.11 All the people of war drew near & camped on the north. A valley lay between them.
    v.13 Joshua went that night into the midst of the valley
    v.14 The king of Ai saw it, the men of the city hurried to battle at an appointed place. He did not know the ambush was behind the city.
    v.16 All the people in Ai were called to pursue & drawn away from the city
    v.17 Not a man left who did not go out after Israel. They left the city open.

    Leaders have certain expectations & responsiblilities. In a search of the word muster I found this info that sounded very interesting. Muster Gate – designation for a Jerusalem city where troops were mustered, that is, gathered for enlistment (Neh.3:31); mustered – mobilized (HCSB)

    God covers all the areas around us. He takes care of the details. Sometimes God asks us to go right in the middle of the valley. Seek God in the valley.

    “at an appointed place” God’s appointments are already in place. God is powerful over the enemy. Hatred can obscure a person’s vision and ultimately lead to their downfall & destruction.

    God will cause the enemy to look foolish. Israel was obedient & ultimately triumphant. So shall we be as we become obedient & submit to God’s plan. In the end, we will be triumphant.

    Do I listen when God tries to muster me to face daily battles? What am I ignoring? Why am I so hard to muster? Am I living up to my responsibilities & expections? Why am I not crying out for the Holy Spirit for help? Do I surrender it all? Do I surrender at all?

    Am I believing God will take care of the details?

    Do I make my faith noticeable to the enemy? How can I be more bold? What do I need to do to become more bold?

    Am I ready for the valley? Do I seek God in the valley? Am I willing to go in the valley trusting that God will be there & comfort me?

    What should I be doing to prepare for the enemy’s attacks? What will I need to defeat the enemy this time?

    Do I trust in the times & places that God has appointed for me & my family?

    What am I willing to do to become more obedient & submissive to God?

    Do I make myself vunerable before the enemy so that God can show His Mighty Hand & Power!?

    My Prayer:
    Oh Lord,
    It’s so hard to breathe, so hard to breathe when I am alone. My tears are making it hard to see.
    So fragile, I’m breaking into pieces. I’m falling. So vunerable. Can I do it?
    “For behold, He who forms mountains And creates the wind, Who declares to man what His thought is, And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth – The Lord God of hosts is His name.” Amos 4:13
    Comfort me, Let me seek You, Oh Lord God of hosts. Declare Your thoughts to me, oh Lord. Help make my belief stronger!

    1. Kay!
      God will cause the enemy to look foolish… I just feel like a lot of times I don’t get to see that part! I get to leave feeling like the foolish one… even though through obedience I know I am right where I need to be. It’s tough to leave the results to God…
      INDEED, make my belief stronger… it’s never easy. Am I indeed willing to follow Him into that valley?! Thanks for sharing! Pressing on here… pressing on!

  4. Steph!
    I so needed what you had to say this week… it has been a week, if you know what I mean… I love the fact that you were basically saying if God had something to accomplish that He laid on your heart, but wanted someone else to complete it, that it’s ok… It’s all about The Great Name of Jesus, and He can use whoever He wants. Sometimes we are trusted to intercede, and that is why something has been placed on our hearts. Do I rejoice when God uses someone else? LOVE IT! Also I love that you brought out the peace of Joshua sleeping in the valley… Peace even in the valley of the shadow of death! How many times do I just freak out in the valley of the shadow? If God is leading then we are safe safe safe right? SOooO much to learn… Steph, I’ll be honest, IT IS HARD. I am struggling to have peace when I am staring down the enemy. LORD help my unbelief. I just cried when I read your note Wednesday… you have seriously NO IDEA how much that meant. God give me what I need when I need it. We need each other! Let’s continue to sharpen away! THANK YOU STEPH!

  5. Hi my friends,
    THIS HAS BEEN A CRAZY WEEK!!! There…I got that out. Sometime I feel pulled in fifty different directions. Not complaining , just reality. Sorry for just now responding, but honestly I just finished my last verses this morning (Sat.) I, like Stefanie and Kay, am so thankful for this online study. Thanks for caring enough to help us in this walk Kendra!!
    God is so good! He really spoke to me through this section of verses. Do I say that everytime?? I feel like some of these passages were wrote just for me.
    O.K. here goes.

    v.9 Joshua sent his boys to the place of ambush. He spent the night in the valley.
    v.10 Early Joshua mustered his men. Joshua/leaders marched before Ai.
    v.11 The entire force with Joshua marched, set up camp. The valley was between them and the city.
    v.12 Joshua took men, set up ambush.
    v.13 The soldiers took their position. Joshua went to the valley.
    v.14 Ai saw Joshua’s men and went to him in battle. He did not know about the ambush.
    v.15 Joshua/Isrealites let themselves be driven back. Fled to desert.
    v.16, All the men of Ai pursued and were lured away from their city.
    v.17 Ai left their city open in pursuit of Israel.

    v.9 We must follow God in His plan to the tee. Sometimes it means seperating from some relationships temporarily or even permantly.
    Let the Lord be strong through you for the weak. The army was strong and responsible and could be released to do their duties and Joshua stayed with the people. Maybe they needed his strength.
    v. 10 EARLY Joshua got his boys together and Joshua/leaders marched up. I feel like God is saying here to rise early and seek Him. He wants me to go out before my family and get my battle plan, then march.
    v. 11 Joshua went out to face his enemy with boldness, but not pride.
    v. 12 Joshua was prepared for the enemy. He had purposed ahead of time to do things Gods way. He was not empty handed.
    v.13 Joshua had a band of brothers who fought for, and beside him. He knew his back was covered. There was an obvious deep trust in these men.
    v.14 Ai acted in pride and anger. That is never a good combo. The king’s ego was stung and he fell right into the plot. He was looking through angry eyes.
    v.15 Clever thought through actions will be given to us, by God ,if we pay attention. Do not miss the lessons IN the desert.
    v.16 Satan is out to, in the end, kill us. He will do his best to trick us. Our only hope is God’s wisdom in us (through His word) and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We CAN out smart him…well God can through us.
    v.17 The King of Ai, because of his anger, stung ego, and maybe fear, left his city wide open. These emotions are bad combinations. EXPLOSIVE. STUPID…been there…done that..bought the t-shirt. BUT choosing to learn from it!!

    v.9 Am I there for the weak and am I strong for those who are in a weak spot?
    v.10 Simply, do I seek God early. Do I spend more time in front of the T.V. than I do before the Lord, seeking His wisdom? (OUCH!) Early Joshua mustered his army, then marched. Do I lead my family (my army) in a walk toward God, daily. Do I fight the enemy for my family in prayer?
    v.11 Do I have a group of Christian sisters who will “have my back”. Do I cultivate deep Godly friendships or listen to the voices that say, “You don’t NEED others”? My Mom always said that to have a friend ,you have to be a friend. Am I willing to BE that friend for others?
    v.12,13 Do I take time to prepare to engage in whatever way God says to travel? (toe to toe battle OR be still)
    v.14 Am I prideful in my retaliation? Do I let God guide my response even when I’m angry?
    v.15 Do I seek God’s wisdom? Do I look for Gods way BEFORE I react? Do I look for God IN the desert?
    v.16 Do I let God guide me in moment by moment directions?
    v.17 Do I act like Ai and respond out of pride and open myself up for a fall?

    God spoke clearly to me in these passages. He’s telling me to be a Joshua for my family. Early I must seek Him and then follow thru with what He lays out. He has been telling me thru all kinds of avenues (thru my Pastor, in my devotionals, and now here)(He’s repeating Himself I better listen, HUH??) I need to get up earlier and meet with Him for the leading of my family and myself.
    I also see God saying cultivate deep godly friendships. Let Him show us how to be that good friend.
    Preparation. It is a must if we want success. Honestly, I lack here. I’m not naturally an organized person so I can see where He is saying to plan ahead so as to be ready for battle!!
    PRIDE has no place in my life. BE ON GUARD for it! That’s what caused Ai’s behind to be kicked. Ai acted with what our society calls “confidence”. In reality it’s arrogance. PRIDE. Have no part of it.
    God is willing to guide us moment by moment. I can’t do that if I am not even looking for Him in the situation. He is in the desert with us. That is the most comforting thought to me. I do not have to come up with the battle plan. God has it all worked out!! My part: Seek and Obey.
    Lastly, Do I act like Ai and react out of pride and leave my heart open for a fall? I must be aware of the enemy’s plot (on every angle) to set me up for a take down. It appears that keeping my emotions in check is a important part of victory. (Again I struggle with this) I must give it to Him…struggle by struggle. This reminds me of something I’ve just started doing. My daughter is a runner. She wanted me to run with her. After MUCH pleeing I gave in. She can run circles around me, and at first this bothered me. I had thoughts of “I’m never going to be as fast as her, and I’m holding her back.” But the other day I kept a faster pace and it wasn’t as hard as when I first started. The Lord spoke to me the thru this saying, “It is just like this in this walk with Me. You keep on keeping on, step after step and I will add the strength.” I didn’t FEEL strong until the next run. That was the best feeling. )She still runs circles around me)
    Our Joshua study helped me see this correlation more clearly. I am by no means at the goal line, but I CAN take the next step. Obedience. Plain and simple. Trust. Plain and simple. Not simple to do but simply put.
    Kay, Stefanie, and Kendra, I am soooo glad I have you girls to learn from. Your wisdom lights up my soul. I take lots away with me every week from you gals!! Like when Kendra asked “When do I think the arrogant enemy just prospers and prospers thinking God does not see it?” I did that just this week!!! I literally thought that how come we are struggling and “so-n-so” who does not seek after You, does not struggle financially at all?!? I did not catch it until I read your question. BOY the enemy is sneaky! Thanks for that provoking thought!
    Thank-you girls for listening.
    In Him, Robin
    P.S. Kay, still lifting up your sister. Just want you to know you’re not alone.

  6. Robin,
    What I LOVED is the first part of your summary…. God spoke to me clearly through this passage… Yes! So often I am tempted to act on plans or ideas that God has not CLEARLY said to do or not to do… but when God is CLEAR then when we start to doubt, we can go back and see our 3 questions where God Spoke Clearly. Hold on to it! It will be tested. BTW, LOVED the running analogy!! Joshua is HARDER to study than I thought! Challenge after challenge…. challenges force choices… what will my choice be? Thank you for sharing!

  7. Forgive me for being so off topic, but I just found this blog and Bible study. Is this an ongoing Bible study that a person could jump into now, or is it scheduled to end soon?

    1. Hello, Elizabeth. This is an ongoing Bible study and we would love for you to join. Just posting a new one today. Blessings!

  8. I too am loving these lessons & thoughts you all are sharing here. ‘Challenges force choices…’ Thanks, Kendra. I needed to hear that for sure.

    Robin, I haven’t thought until now just how I can be a Joshua for my family. (Duh!) I guess I just assumed that should be my husband’s role. I know I need to be more proactive, spend more time with God.

    I appreciate the prayers. If I don’t post during the next week then it’s because I’m getting ready for a visit from my daughter, son-in-law, & granddaughter. So excited for them to come to NC from NH! I will be trying to catch up as soon as I can.

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