Summary: This sermon warns those who are experiencing victory to take care not fall to the aftermath of defeat.

After This…What?

TEXT: Joshua 7:2-5

2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.

3 And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.

4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.

5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

{Tell the Story of the Victory of Jericho and the Defeat at Ai}

I. There Was Great Victory

A. By God’s Direction

B. By Guaranteed Obedience

C. By Genuine Faith

II. There Was Great Temptation

A. To Rationalize the Victory

B. To Relax the Vigil

C. To Recognize the Victory instead of the Victor

III. There Was Great Defeat

A. Because of Disobedience in the camp

B. Because of Debilitating Pride

C. Because of Doing it without God

Point: The greatest defeats are often suffered immediately following the greatest of Victories.

Examples: Saul and his victory over Agag

Alexander the Great and his conquest of the world

The son of PHILIP II, he was tutored by ARISTOTLE. Upon succeeding to the throne in 336 BC he won ascendancy over all of GREECE by putting down uprisings in THRACE and ILLYRIA, and by sacking THEBES. As head of an allied Greek army, viewing himself as the champion of pan-HELLENISM, he started east (334) on what was to be the greatest conquest of ancient times. He defeated the Persians at the battles of Granicus (334) and Issus (333). Tyre and Gaza fell after a year’s struggle, and he entered Egypt (332), where he founded ALEXANDRIA. Moving to Mesopotamia, he overthrew the Persian Empire of DARIUS III at the battle of Gaugamela (331). Pushing on through eastern PERSIA (330–327), he invaded northern INDIA (326), but there his forces would go no further. The fleet was sent back to the head of the Persian Gulf, and Alexander himself led his soldiers through the desert, reaching Susa in 324 BC He died of a fever a year later, at age 33. He was incontestably one of the greatest generals of all time and one of the most powerful personalities of antiquity. (copied, Devotional Stories, 1995)

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