Summary: God can bring victory out of defeat-Following God's direction.

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Scripture: Joshua 8:1-8:

1Now the Lord said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.

2And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it.”

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

4And he commanded them, saying: “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind the city. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready.

5Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city; and it will come about, when they come out against us as at the first, that we shall flee before them.

6For they will come out after us till we have drawn them from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’ Therefore we will flee before them.

7Then you shall rise from the ambush and seize 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.

This Morning

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


A. 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 delights in his way.

A. 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 .

B. In the New Testament Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus

What about you? What if you were sick and Jesus waits around for a few days to come.

1. When Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus is dead.

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

have died."

3. They had a hard time believing there was a plan. A Plan!? You got To be kidding!! People don't die if You 've got a plan

• Martha sums it up when Jesus orders the stone removed from the tomb, the Bible says:

• "Lord by this time he stinks!"

• What about the disciples of Jesus

1. 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.

They doubted that this was part of a plan. Plan? You got to be kidding—This ain’t no 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 stinks?"

• I want to encourage you, no matter how things look, God has a plan for you and for your life—for your family and their


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.

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

1. It is about that time of defeat that the Lord says "I know the plans I have for you. He goes on and says:

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