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Summary: In Joshua 7 Israel suffers a humiliating defeat at the hands of the enemy. Their dreams of possesing Canaan, their inheritance, appeared to be lost.This sermon tells us about how to restore our dreams again.

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RESTORING BROKEN DREAMS

Joshua 7:2-5 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the country.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few.”4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai.5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.

What do you do when your dreams are shattered?

In Joshua God’s people have finally crossed over to take possession of the land. They erected memorial stones an object lesson of what God had done for them. In Chapter 7 we read about the defeat at Ai and its reasons. This sermon will deal on the outcome of that defeat. “Their hearts melted like wax”, “they turned their backs to the enemy”, “The enemy routed or broke them at Shebarim”. Their memorial stones were broken, their dreams shattered but right before them in the meaning of the names and the symbols of places came the answer to restoring broken dreams.

Today’s Christian is a living stone being built into a spiritual house. We are personally and corporately the memorial of God and we to suffer broken dreams. Let’s dream again the dreams of God!

Joshua 4:21-24 “And he spoke unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, what mean these stones?" "Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land." "For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:" "That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever."

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Four Places:

SHEBARIM

Meaning to be broken and fractured specifically of dreams. After the repulse of the first attack on their city the men of Ai chased the Israelites "even unto Shebarim" (Joshua 7:5). The Revised Version margin reads "the quarries"; so Keil, Steuernagel, etc. Septuagint reads "until they were broken," i.e. until the rout was complete.

Here Israel was broken and routed by the enemy from Ai, the Amorites their dreams were shattered.

AI

Meaning a heap or hill of ruins or waste. To commit iniquity. If you battle a stronghold better make sure they don’t have a hold on you, this was the cause of their defeat sin in the camp

AFTER DREAMS ARE SHATTERED THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS OR TWO PLACES WE CAN CHOOSE TO GO.

BETH-AVEN

Meaning “House of Vanity or Nothingness” ’aven, from an unused root perhaps meaning properly to pant (hence to exert oneself, usually in vain; to come to naught); strictly nothingness; also trouble, vanity, wickedness;

This reminds of Ecclesiastes where the writer says all is vanity, meaningless. When are dreams are broken by the enemy in the quarries of Sherabim we can travel to this place and stay there. We can live our live shere and never dream again. Or we can go to Bethel.

BETHEL

Bethel was the place where the Lord first made His covenant with Jacob (Gen. 28:10–22).

Bethel means “House of God” or God’s House. It is related to Jacob’s dreams it is the place of dreams!

1. Built upon the ground of truth.

2. A result of revelation. (Faith is revelation that is responded to)

3. It is the place where oil is poured out upon the stone (dream again)

There is much meaning in Bethel: Jacob was fleeing in defeat headed to Haran (drought). He laid his head upon a stone – Jesus the “Corner Stone”- and he dreamed God reassured him of his dream and destiny. He awoke with the realization that though he was a deceiver God was with him! He dreamed again, he had a heavenly perspective.

For the believer/Israel after defeat at Ai, after broken dreams at Sherabim, they had the choice got to Beth-Aven House of Vanity or got Bethel – House of God – lean on Jesus and dream again allow the Holy Spirit to bring to pass those dreams for it is not by power or might but by His Spirit we will see these things come to pass.

What will you do?

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