Joshua Chapter7 :1-26



Moses described the Promised Land as “a land of hills and valleys” (Deut. 11:11). That statement, I believe, is much more than a description of the contrast between the hilly landscape of Canaan and the flat topography of Egypt. It’s also a description of the geography of the life of faith that is pictured by Israel’s experiences in Canaan. HILLS & VALLEYS

So too in the Christian walk:  we by faith claim our inheritance in Christ, we experience peaks of victory and valleys of discouragement. Discouragement isn’t inevitable in the Christian life, but we must remember that we can’t have mountains without valleys.


It is true that in the Christian life there are always going to be Valleys

A)But the worst times is when the Valley Experience is the result of our Sin { That is the Case here in Joshua Ch.7 {


B) The Conquest has Begun – Started w/ Jericho -  We noted how the Lord gave them that Victory - …….. Walls fell –


C) Now a Question that is often asked: Why did they have to Destroy everyone in the Land of Cannan – doesn’t seem right!!!


 First understand – that all of these people could trace their Lineage back to Noah – Adam – Godly Background –

A)2nd The People of Israel spent 400 yrs in Egypt – Time for the nation to Grow – Jacob’s Family becomes 3 Million people


B) All during that time God was giving the People in the land of Canaan time to Repent – turn back to him / instead further away

1)   Their Sin & Idolatry were becoming rampant – The People in the land of Canaan were infected w/ Cancer – needed to be Removed


C) So the Lord gave them Victory over their First Enemy – the City of Jericho – Ch 6 ends on a high note 27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout all the country.

A)However The 7th chapter of the book of Joshua opens w/ an Ominous BUT 


B) Up to this point it has been a story of success but Ch. 7 reveals a horrible defeat !{ A DEFEAT THAT DIDN’T NEED TO HAPPEN

1)   As we look at this Chapter tonight we want to examine the causes of spiritual defeat / but also the cure  ( Read V.1-5  )


Now before we focus on the sin of Achan lets look at some of the other reasons for this failure at Ai.

A)1st  V.3  Self Confidence among the men of Israel !


B) Joshua once again send out spies – following a pattern that He set up in Ch.2

1) Now Ai= small heap /hill top city 1700 ft above sea level/ It was a small & insignificant city especially in comparison to Jericho !


C) Because of the smallness of the city the spies come back v.3 they tell Joshua the city is small – we don’t need everyone

1)   It was logical & Rational thinking – But it was all wrong


D) In a Subtle way it assumed that they had something to do w/ the battle at Jericho –

1)I think it is very possible an attitude had developed of we just wiped out the mighty city of Jericho why waste the whole armies time on this little city


E)But we need to note this because there is a tendency in our lives to get over confident after a great spiritual victory !


Redpath Mark this lesson well in your Christian life: there is no experience in Christian living so full of Danger as the Flush of Victory. There is no moment so perilous as when for the first time a man has experienced deliverance from sin. At such times there is the tendency to be filled w/ pride & boast in our ARM that has saved us

A)This is one of the Problems w/ the “ Christian self help programs  they are prone to self confidence “ Look what I did/ I overcame


B) But a major point of Christianity is in realizing that I couldn’t do it but look what God has done for me/ in me & through me !

1)   The greatest lesson that we can learn as a believer is the lesson that Paul learned – In my flesh dwells no Good thing –


C) Therefore Paul said –Not Confidence in my Flesh – but Confidence in my God !!!

1) RP called the moment of Victory the Moment for Humiliation Having the wherewithal to Know the work was done by God !!!


D) So this was the first problem self confidence !


2nd Problem is the by product of the First – Lack of Prayer

A)When I am self confident the first thing to go is my prayer life .


B)That can often happen when we find ourselves in a situation that we perceive to be small / that I think I can handle or take care of !

1) We have to be so careful  not to speak / launch out / offer counsel / until we have first prayed & listened to the Lord !


RP If you pray in time of Victory you will never have to plead in time of Defeat


C) I suggest to you that if Joshua would have sought the Lord – the way he did before Jericho – if he went looking for his Commander

1)   He would have been told – there is sin the camp – Don’t proceed until it is dealt w/


B) But Joshua forgot to Pray: Prayer is a mark of our Dependency

1)   Can do more than pray – shouldn’t do anything until we’ve prayed


C) Leadership here: We talk – We pray together – spend a week praying individually – What God say to us –

1)   God will speak to all of us the same – { Times when we haven’t been in agreement – didn’t do it


D) What is lost by seeking the Lord ? What is lost by Prayer

1)   Well you might not get the answer you want !!! – But You will know you are in God’s will


E) You will avoid situations like this one: Note verse 5 says therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.


We read in Ch. 5 that the hearts of the people in Cannan had melted because the of the God of Israel ( But now Israel hearts had melted )

A)That is exactly what happens when we take our eyes off the Lord & put them on ourselves     Hearts Strong in Faith melt in defeat!


6 Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, "Alas, Lord GOD, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all -- to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Oh, that we had been content, and dwelt on the other side of the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what shall I say when Israel turns its back before its enemies? 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear it, and surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?"

Now Joshua is Distraught here: He is confused –Over reactingAre you trying to Destroy us Lord -  what Happened ?

A)I like the Lord’s Response: v.10 So the LORD said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?


B) Kids – Stop your crying before I give you something to Cry about –

1)   Time to CRY – TIME TO ACT


C) This was a time to Act – This was a time to do something – V. 11 –21


Now note here that Achan’s sin was two fold – V.11 Israel has sinned & they have also transgressed My Covenant – Two Problems

A)Israel has sinned ?– Now wait a minute Achan sinned / why did the Lord say that Israel sinned ! Achan was part of Israel


B)The Lord is teaching an important Principle a principle that says we are linked to one another !  When one sins it affects us all !

1) Sunday noted This is what is meant by the phrase in 1 Cor. 5:6 That a little leaven leavens the whole lump !


C) Sin brings about the loss of God’s power & Presence in our lives it has a paralyzing & immobilizing affect on us !

1) Israel sinned & because of their sin they couldn’t stand before their enemies


It was Achan’s sin but it affected the whole Nation – What was the TWO FOLD ASPECT -  V.11 Sinned / Broke the Covenant

A)His sin was to take the Babylonian Garment Accursed thing – Jos6:18

18 And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.

B) The Babylonian garment was the Accursed thing – anything that resembled the World -  Sin of Worldliness

1)   See Babylon was a highly regarded city. In later yrs it would be THE CITY – overwhelmingly Powerful –


C) Achan saw the cloak – He knew it was Babylonian – He took it –

Sin of Disobedience & Worldliness – How much like the world can we be

1) Staff guys a few yrs ago Bachelor parties –Pranks -


D) Come out from among them & be ye Separate – Who are we trying to be like -   Brittney: Bare miff – Mariah -


His breaking of the Covenant was taking the Silver & the Gold – This was the sin of Materialism Josh 6:24 But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.

A)The Covenant that the Lord had made w/ His People had to do w/ the Principle of 1st works !


B) Jericho was the 1st city in the land of Cannan that the children of Israel were to conquer !-    In this first city the Lord was instilling this principle that the first of everything belongs to Him !


C) Here is the Reality: Everything you have belongs to the Lord –People say I just don’t Know if I can tithe – give a tenth

1)   The Wrong way to look at- In Reality – All of it belongs to the Lord it is His – He has entrusted it to you – He wants you to give him 10%


D) The Question shouldn’t be – Why should I give 10% but why does the Lord let me – Keep – 90%

1)   But I earned it – Who gave you that Job / Who blessed that deal ? Who could take you out of that Job – tomorrow ?

So Achan Sinned in Taking of the Accursed thing – Babylonian garment and He Stole by taking of the gold & Silver – Robbing God

A)What is ironic – is that what laid before him was the blessing of God in ABUNDANCE


B) A land flowing w/ milk & Honey – In fact in the very next Battle God would allow them to take all the spoil they wanted

1)   Achan’s Problem was that He was Short sighted { Focused on the Temporal


C) THAT CAN BE OUR PROBLEM AS WELL – We are focused on the Temporal – not the Eternal

1)   God tells us to invest in His Kingdom – Store up Treasure in Heaven

We wrestle w/ that – What about here Lord




Notice v.21 Achan in his confession – Stated – that the Problem was that He Coveted – these things when he saw them

A)Covetousness is a sin that is born out of a Dissatisfaction in  your present state  { Satan – throne { Eve wanted more -


B) People see another house – Suddenly don’t like there’s – Couch – Car

Spouse / kids –

1)   Everyone of us is susceptible to that – Discontentment – that we feel about life


C) Want a better this / different that / New Building –

1)   Here is what I am Learning – Shared before - Discontentment is really for more of the Lord – that is the Key

                                                 Gal 4:6 Intimacy / 2 Cor 5 –& Heaven

Listen there will always be a better – House / Car gets dents /

A)The True Satisfaction that we are longing for – is found in drawing nearer to the Lord


B) SO Achan’s Dissatisfaction led to Disobedience – 3rd and most serious Reason for their Defeat –


C) Noted on Sunday Achan was Foolish to think his sin wouldn’t be Discovered – SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT

1)   He was ALSO foolish to think that His Sin wouldn’t hurt anyone else

Noted the Army Suffered – Also His Family     RD   v. 22-26


Why was this Punishment rendered upon his Family – Deut 24:16

16 "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin.


A) Now there are Still those who read this & think – that still seems very   Harsh – Why were they Stoned & Burned


B)The answer to that question lies in the Principle of Precedence which says:

God will make a strong statement at ONE point in time which is to be remembered and applied to ALL points in time.


C) See because this was a new Country – a new time in their history- God was making a Strong Statement about Sin { AGAG -

1)  Lesson for All time -  CONSEQUENCES FOR SIN !!!!!


We ended on Sunday – talking about – Valley of Achor – how it can become a door of Hope Hosea 2:15 -  Cure -

A)Brokenness that leads to Repentence & Restoration – Jesus became our Achan so that we could be Rescued – Confession / Repentence

               DEAL W/ THE SIN -  Courson: NOT NO – BUT NEVER