Disciple Up #270
Part 3: Failure Isn’t Fatal – Joshua 7-8
By Louie Marsh, 8-3-2022
So about 3,000 men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. Joshua 7:4-5 (ESV)
Four Common Causes of Failure
- I have HIDDEN SIN in my life.
1 But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel. Joshua 7:1 (ESV)
I quit TRUSTING GOD because things are going well.
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” Joshua 7:2-3 (ESV)
I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: Try to please everybody. – Herbert B. Swope
- I divide my FOCUS AND ENERGY
4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, Joshua 7:4 (ESV)
Then I BLAME GOD for my failures & problems.
7 And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?” Joshua 7:7-9 (ESV)
God’s Reaction to My Failure:
- He JERKS THE SLACK out of me!
The LORD said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face. Joshua 7:10 (NIV)
10 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up off your face! Joshua 7:10 (TLB)
- He commands me to ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY for my actions.
11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Joshua 7:11 (ESV)
- He commands me to FORSAKE MY SIN
13 Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the LORD, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.” Joshua 7:13 (ESV)
My Necessary Response to God:
- I must TURN BACK to God.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. Joshua 7:6 (ESV)
- I must TURN AWAY from my sins and distractions
“Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow…Joshua 7:13a (NLT)
- I must be willing to do some PAINFUL CLEANSING of my heart.
“First thing in the morning you will be called up by tribes. The tribe God names will come up clan by clan; the clan God names will come up family by family; and the family God names will come up man by man. The person found with the cursed things will be burned, he and everything he has, because he broke God’s covenant and did this despicable thing in Israel.” Joshua 7:14-15 (MSG)
“19Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20And Achan answered Joshua, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did: 21when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”” (Joshua 7:19–21, ESV)
The best way out is always through. – Robert Frost
4 Ways to Move past My Failures:
- ACCEPT Christ’s encouragement
1 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. Joshua 8:1 (ESV)
- Follow HIS LEADING
2 And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.” Joshua 8:2 (ESV)
- Be willing to TRY IT AGAIN
So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai,,, Joshua 8:3a (NIV)
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. – Robert F. Kennedy
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Sir Winston Churchill
Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. – Sir Winston Churchill
“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Sir Winston Churchill
- LEARN from my mistakes and do things DIFFERENTLY!
3 So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. And Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out by night. 4 And he commanded them, “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you remain ready. Joshua 8:3-4 (ESV)
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