Summary: The Lord wants you and I to see that we can turn defeat into worship with the help of the Holy Spirit.
FROM FAILURE TO WORSHIP.
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of comebacks in recent years was that of San Francisco Giant pitcher Dave Dravecky. Besides pitching is the regular season Dave also pitched in the All star game, in the national league championship series and in the World Series. In 1988 doctors removed a cancerous growth in Dave’s pitching arm and there was little hope of returning to baseball. Doctors and trainers watch in awe as God and a loving family gave him the courage and grace to mount one of the most amazing comebacks in the world of sports. A year later a sell out crowd watched Dave breeze to a victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Five days later Dave broke as he threw a pitch to batter Tim Raines in the bottom of the sixth. When a second lump was discovered, the arm that had helped Dave become successful pitcher of baseball was amputated to stop the cancer. Once again his faith in God pulled him from defeat to victory as Dave has used the story of his comebacks to share the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Joshua Ch. 7 is also the story of a comeback. The Lord gave Joshua a mission which was to remove the stain of sin and disobedience from the camp. Joshua brought everyone forward tribe by tribe, family by family, until it was revealed that Achan was the guilty one. The Bible informs us that the Lord had made his covenant with the whole nation of Israel and when Achan sinned the Lord considered that sin as if the whole camp had sinned. The sin of Achan is the chief reason for the defeat of Israel. From this we learned that when one Christian sins that sin affects every Christian.
In Chapter 8 we see that things have turned around for Joshua and the people of Israel. They have restored their relationship with the Lord and that fact would give the people confidence that the Lord would be on their side in the coming battle. A Christian life is one of conquests. As we live our lives we enter into battles everyday.
There isn’t a day that goes by that we aren’t struggling with some form of temptation or sin. I know that we are very grateful to the Lord Jesus when we win our battles but are we just as grateful to the Lord when we lose. Now maybe as a Christian we don’t like the idea that we lose. A very successful business man was asked what the secret of his success was. He said my failures. When he was asked to explain he said I learned more from my failures in how to succeed that I did from being successful.
That is what Joshua chapter 8 is about. The Lord wants you and I to see that we can turn defeat into worship with the help of the Holy Spirit.
As God’s people today live their lives for the Lord, as they moves out and engages the enemies, we will not always find ourselves standing in the winners circle. God’s people will sometimes have to deal with defeat instead of victory. This is the one subject that Christians never talk about and the reason is that we don’t want anyone to know that we are not always in the victory circle. One of the thing that we must remember is that we spend more time in the valleys struggling with our difficulties that we do on the mountain top celebrating our victories. We learn from our victories but we probably learn twice as much from our defeats.
I believe that there are some very important points here that we can apply to our lives as we fight our battles with Satan. When we lose a battle you can be sure that Satan will be right there to not only remind us of the defeat but to use that defeat to get you and I to stop trying.
1. To turn Defeat into Worship they didn’t concede Defeat.
One of the things that I have noticed about Joshua is that the pattern in this book are the same patterns that we have in our Christian lives. The spies look at Ai and they decided that this community wouldn’t give then any problem yet we find from scripture that not only were they defeated but the lost 36 men of war.
I don’t know if your life is like this or not but I have noticed that everytime that I am preparing to move forward after not succeeding the first time that my mind has this habit of bring the first attempt right to the very front of my mind. So there I am looking at one thing but thinking about what happen in the past. Now the reason why that first failed attempt popped into my mind is because Satan is always trying to make sure that we don’t enter into the victory circle. One of the way that he does that is to keep bring up our failures. I am sure that as the army was getting read for the second attempt at Ai that the soldiers who went on the first attempt would be struggling with that first failure that would be still fresh in their minds.