1. How would you feel if you were Joshua?
a. on the heels of a great victory came an embarrasing
(1) his army had over 30,000 mighty soldiers, 8:3
(2) the city of Ai, pop 12,000, sent them running,
b. from our vantage point, we can see why they were
(1) the battle strategy was theirs, not God's,
(2) there was sin in the camp, 7:10,11
c. How would you feel if you were Joshua?
2. The Bible says he was afraid and discouraged, 8:1
a. that's probably how I would feel, too!
b. what should he do now?
(1) retreat back across the river?
(2) settle at Gilgal
(3) attack again
(4) skip Ai and attack another city?
3. God didn't leave him wondering long.
I. Failure Is Not Final, 8:1
1. "Israel had sinned, but I'll give you a second chance"
a. those guilty of sin had already been dealt with,
b. now Israel has a second chance to defeat Ai.
c. their failure was not final!
2. Neither do our failures need to be final
a. the true character of a person is seen in how
defeats are handled.
b. Joshua and Israel did not turn away from God
c. Joshua teaches us to bring our failures, mistakes,
doubts to God.
d. "Bring Christ Your Broken Life", (vs 1-3)
3. Many of God's people had to overcome defeat to gain
a. Abraham (lying) f. David (Bethsheba)
b. Samson (women) g. Jonah (runing from God)
c. Peter (arrogance) h. Elijah (self-pity)
d. John Mark (quitting)
e. Lam 3:22 (Niagara Falls..never ceases)
4. God will give you a second chance, 1 Jn 1:9
a. over alcohol f. over gossip
b. over fornication g. over selfishness
c. over poor example h. over poor decision
d. over divorce i. over everything
e. over greed
II. The Sinner's Triumph is Only Temporary, 8:2-29
2. The sinners' triumph is only temporary
a. Ai had done what no one else had been able to do...
defeat of xxxxxxx
(1) they must have been celebrating
(2) thought they had it made
b. all this time God is saying "Ai is yours...take them
3. Many people think they have it made
a. they have prosperity and success...they celebrate
b. yet God says an ambush is coming
c. do you ever longingly look at the prosperity of the
(1) Asaph died, Ps 73:1-28
(2) SONG: "Sing and Be Happy" vs 2 + 3, by Emory S.
"often we are troubled and tired, sick with
sorrow and pain, there are others living in sin,
blest with eartly gain; take new courage we
cannot tell, what the morrow may bring, when the
dark clouds vanish away then your heart truly
"oft we fail to see the rainbow up in heaven's
fair sky, when it seems the fortunes of earth
frown and pass us by; there are things we know
that are worth more than silver and gold, If we
hope and trust Him each day, We shall have
(3) "Go Ahead. Sin, lie, cheat, steal, whatever.
But an ambush is coming.
4. The Defeat of Ai
a. this time Israel listened to God
(1) their sin had been discovered and removed.
(2) their arrogance had been shattered.
b. God's plan was different than at Jericho
(1) Jericho sheer demonstration of His power.
(2) Ai was more a miliary strategy
(3) God does not always have to do things in
the same way.
(a) Jesus healed many blind men...Mudites,
Spitites, Touchites, Speakites.
(b) God encourages variety
(c) Last words of a dying coach, "We never
did it that way before!"
c. Tell of the battle, 8:3-29
d. Ai is a picture of what God is going to do to
the devil and his workers.
1. The lessons of the defeat of Ai are clear:
a. to the people of God: failure is not final
b. to the ungodly: an ambush is coming
2. Which of these messages is directed to you?