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Thus far it's been victory all the way- it's all happening for Israel!! "BUT…" - ominous note that introduces dramatic change into situation (7/1) There’s a parallel with Acts 5/1 – in each case the people of God under threat.- Discuss the similarities between the two accounts e.g. materialism – what else?

Recall 1 Cor.10/11 - examples that are warnings for us - let's learn lessons well

 

[1] THE REASONS FOR THE DEFEAT

Disobedience (v.1)

a. Recall 6/17,18 and link it with 7/1 - we cannot ignore God's law without consequences

b. Israel's solidarity as nation meant the sin of one effected welfare of all - 1 Cor.12/26

c. NB: David saw Bathsheba - same sequence in sin process – his one night stand impacted whole family

Complacency, (vs.2,3)

a. Joshua sent out spies again. Do you sense an air of complacency here? The spies report is casual and careless. They could do this without God?

b. 1 Cor.10/12 - this is danger time - vulnerability of high after great success/victory

Prayerlessness

a. As compared with previous chapters, prayer & direction conspicuous by their absence

b. They needed direction/guidance as much about Ai as they did about Jericho. We need God’s

involvement in the little issues as well as the big issues of life. How does that apply in our circumstances? Can you give an example of that in your own life?

 

[2] THE RESULTS OF THE DEFEAT

Retreat

a. Actual retreat (v.4) - totally unexpected reversal from easy target sent them running. 

b. Emotional/Spiritual retreat (v.7) - in defeat they longed for security/safety of wilderness

Fear

a. v.5 – the description of Canaanites in 2/9-11 is now used to describe Israel - total reversal

b. Had God abandoned them? Are they now trapped in cycle of fear & unbelief?

Accusation

a. vs.6-9 - "Why did you..." - human nature always wants to shift blame to others

b. God is often the butt of our "blame game" - before we ever accept responsibility

 

[3] THE REMEDY FOR DEFEAT

Prayer

a. If prayerlessness contributes to defeat, then prayer becomes part of antidote. But there comes a time when prayer is cop-out to responsible action (v.10)

b. There are times when God won't respond to prayer - Isaiah 1/15f; Psalm 32/3-5

Confession (vs. +19-21)

a. Blaming others, denial, defensiveness always prevents heartfelt confession

b. Nothing good can happen until we confess our sin & own our responsibility

Cleansing (24-26)

  1. Such difficult verses for us to accept- even if his family did collaborate– Acts 5/11

How can we understand and explain this punishment to those

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