Joshua 8:1-9

Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city."

So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best fighting men and sent them out at night with these orders: "Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don't go very far from it. All of you be on the alert. I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them. They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, 'They are running away from us as they did before.' So when we flee from them, you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The LORD your God will give it into your hand. When you have taken the city, set it on fire. Do what the LORD has commanded. See to it; you have my orders."

Then Joshua sent them off, and they went to the place of ambush and lay in wait between Bethel and Ai, to the west of Ai—but Joshua spent that night with the people.

So now Israel will take down Ai. Before that was Jericho. What should be quite impressive onto the readers of this passage is that God gave Joshua a different strategy to capture Ai and allowed the Israelites to loot the city now. So now let's review the tale of the two cities. Jericho was captured by marching round the city and Ai will be captured by ambushing the city. We must here realise that God has no same strategy for two similar situations but in both situations, there were some principles that remain. The main principle is that God expects His people to obey Him and do what He has commanded. The second is that by following God's instruction, one is assured that he will succeed. Let's explore the second a bit here. The fact that God should be an anchor in our lives should not be a distant fact to the readers of this post. But how about people who are drifting out there without the knowledge of God? Do they know that God is the one anchor that they can depend on?

As I am typing this post, I had received news that one of my army friends had kena cancer. It pains my heart to see yet another friend stricken by cancer. It acted some sort of wake up call for myself. I become afraid that this friend will die without knowing God. Does he know God and does he know that he can depend on God for comfort? How about the rest of my friends? Not everyone knows the message yet... Then how? How can I continue to share to my friends that Jesus is the rock and anchor of our lives, that anchoring ourselves in Him is the way to go?

The passage sort of provides me the answer for this. No two person I can use the same strategy and method. But I need to keep God's principles constant. Likewise for most of us. Do we do things the same way as we do last time in other projects and when taking care of other people? I am reminded again of experiences in NUS again, as I witness people from youth moving over to the uni side. A lot of them, at the beginning, have a lot of pre-conceptions on how to serve in a ministry and as such tends to have their own expectation on how things should work. Sometimes, when things dun turn out the way they wanted or expected, people will leave. It is a fact and let's face it. It happens when people switch ministry and change cg. As I transit from NUS to YG, it is a pitfall that I am very aware about. Yet, when serving in different ministry, God requires us to use different strategies given that we experience different sets of conditions even if the situation or the things we do continue to remain the same. A cg with working adults will of course operate differently from a uni cg. A uni cg will of course operate differently from a youth cg. A family cg will of course operate differently from any of the above. But the constant remains, that all these cgs must serve and honor God.

Serving in different environments, we need to learn how to serve God in these environments. It does not mean that what we learn beforehand will become irrelevant. Rather we need to learn to build upon what we have achieved. If we are biblically strong leaders in another ministry, we better make sure we remain biblically strong christians even when we are not serving as a leader if we move to another ministry.

So, if today you are part of a transition, then are you learning to adapt to your new environment and learn to serve God under different kinds of conditions?


  1. AMEN, Uncle! :) just want to say i'm really blessed by your wonderful articles. keep on writing... i'm learning from what you share! maybe u've got a gifting here... =D


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