Summary: God always promises us as believers victory in Christ Jesus, but there are times we experience defeat. From the examples of Israel we can learn about experiencing victory or defeat.

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Joshua 6:1-2, 7:1-3

World Wide Sports many years ago: “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”

The bible tells us that people of God are always victorious in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:37 We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us

1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world

We know that these verses are implying that the certain conditions must be met.

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith

Not everyone will experience the kind of victory that God has promise unto them in this life and there are reasons for why this is so.

In Joshua chapter 6 we have the thrill of victory and in chapter 7 we have the agony of defeat

The difference between experiencing one or the other is given in the context of these chapters.

1. Victory is of the LORD

Mention: Joshua 6:2 I have given into thine hand Jericho and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor

Mention: Joshua 7:1-3 Israel took it upon themselves to enter into a battle that God did not command them to fight.

See: Numbers 14:39-42 The nation of Israel after their disobedience decided to go to battle without the LORD.

Point: There are some battles the LORD does not desire us to fight especially if we are out of His will.

2. Every Battle is to be Fought God’s Way

Joshua 6:3-16 This would seem unusual to anyone that is attacking the enemy.

Mention: Joshua 7:1-3 Would be the strategic way battles are fought today

What appeared to be a sure way of defeat in Chapter 6 brings about victory and obvious victory brought about defeat in chapter 7.

Mention: Judges 7 Gideon with 300 men to fight against 135,000 Midianites

God’s way of overcoming oftentimes will not make sense to us and it is easier to just trust in ourselves.

Here are some biblical examples:

Luke 6:27 Love your enemies

Romans 12:21 Overcome evil with good

Point: Remember who is supposed to be in charge! Mention Joshua 5:14 the captain of the host of the LORD.

It is very important here to note that we are to seek out the advice of the LORD before making decisions concerning the things we face in this life. Israel did not enquire concerning Ai.

Mention: Joshua 9:14 They did not seek counsel of the LORD concerning the Gibeonites later.

Perhaps we should realize that the way we get victory over the world today is with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

3. Victory is a Surety if we Endure

Imagine what it must have been like compassing the walls of Jericho. I would imagine there was a lot of talk every night for the six days and perhaps some probably wanted to quit.

Certainly after the defeat by Ai they were all probably ready to quit.

See: Joshua 7:5-9 The hearts of the people were melted

Eventually there is a success story concerning both of these conflicts and Israel is given the victory. Even when there is no apparent hope if we are right with God victory is a certainty.

Point: May I say there is not an enemy that God cannot and will not give His children the victory over whether it a sin, opposition or obstacle concerning a God given goal.

There are lessons to be learned here:

a. Victory is given only to those who follow the commands of the LORD

b. Victory is a result of walking in obedience and faith unto the LORD ref. 1 John 5:4

c. Victory calls upon us to seek the counsel of LORD concerning life’s matters

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