Summary: What looked like defeat, set up Victory over the enemy

God’s Victory In Defeat

Joshua 8:1-8:7 Josh 1 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land:

Josh 2 And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it.

Josh 3 So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai: and Joshua chose out thirty thousand mighty men of valour, and sent them away by night.

Josh 4 And he commanded them, saying, Behold, ye shall lie in wait against the city, even behind the city: go not very far from the city, but be ye all ready:

Josh 5 And I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them,

Josh 6 (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them.

Josh 7 Then ye shall rise up from the ambush, and seize upon the city: for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand.

The battle of Ai is a perfect example of a biblical theme that I call “God’s Victory in Defeat " What looked like defeat, set up Victory over the enemy--


In each of our lives God sends Victory In Defeat. God not only lets us have Victory but uses the Defeats to accomplish his PURPOSES IN OUR LIVES.

Tonight I want to see how when you feel defeated and

*the world seems to be crashing down around your ears

*and you can’t imagine what good could come of it,


Let us look at the battle of Ai as an object lesson to help us see some things we need to remember when we’re facing victory out of our defeat. The first thing we need to remember in those dark days is

I. God has a Plan

When you’re facing seeming defeat it can be hard to believe that God has a plan in all of this.

Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

I wonder what the average soldier on the battle line was thinking.

They knew was that a few days before they had faced Ai and been thoroughly defeated--36 had died.

Now they were going back to the city that had defeated them. This was the first time they had been defeated in Canaan Land.

In the New Testament Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was sick and Jesus waits around for a few days to come.

When Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus is dead.

I Can Hear The Disappointment In The Sisters as they sob, "Lord if you would have been here my brother would not have died."

They had a hard time believing there was a plan. Martha sums it up when Jesus orders the stone removed from the tomb, the Bible says "Lord by this time he stinketh!"

What about the disciples of Jesus

*The soldiers arrested Jesus in the garden;

*They watched his body being whipped.

*He was laid upon that rugged cross and spikes were driven into his hands and feet

*They watched as his life’s blood poured out on the ground.

I’m sure they doubted that this was part of a plan.

What about you?

*How bad has it gotten in your life?

*Are there circumstances that seem beyond the reach of God’s plan?

*Would you say like, Martha "Lord, by this time it stinketh?"

I want to encourage you, no matter how things look, God has a plan.

NIV Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

In Jeremiah God is promising a time of difficulty--70 years of exile.

It is about that time of defeat that the Lord says "I know the plans I have for you.

He goes on and says:

12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

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