THERE'S BOOTY JUST AHEAD
Joshua 8:1 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to
and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves.... Jericho
God told Joshua here NOT to be discouraged. He told him to keep moving forward. He even promised great plunder just ahead.
This promised came after what some may have perceived as failure. There may have been discouragement and a temptation to give up in Joshua's mind. God revealed the problem to Joshua and told him to move on!
Discouragement and fear are the enemies of forward motion. While fear is paralyzing, discouragement is weakening and disheartening. Fear stops you in your tracks because you're afraid of the future based on the past. Discouraging words deprive you of the will to move on. Discouragement is usually spoken from the mouth of another, however you can also discourage yourself. On the other hand you can encourage yourself as David did after a failure at Ziklag. (He encouraged himself in the Lord.) We have to stop listening to outside and inside voices that bring discouragement and cast down everything spoken into our ears that isn't good, edifying, encouraging and uplifting. If what you're hearing isn't edifying or encouraging you to come up higher, and to move on further, it's not God! If what you're hearing is condemning, discouraging and stopping you, the words aren't from God! It's time we know who we're listening to!
GOD SAYS TO TRY AGAIN! DON'T GIVE UP!
Joshua 8:1b-Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.
Even though they had just experienced a failure God said to get up and try again!
THE CALL TO VICTORY WAS ALIVE AND WELL
The call to victory was not nullified by one defeat. The call was still there. The best thing to do if you've fallen off a bicycle is to get up and try again. You learn what you did before that may have caused you to fall and you try again. The more you try, the better you become at riding. Eventually you become the master of the bicycle!
This time God said the same thing he said at
, "I HAVE DELIVERED INTO YOUR HANDS THE KING OF AI, HIS PEOPLE, HIS CITY AND HIS LAND!" Jericho
THE KEY TO FUTURE VICTORY IS FORWARD MOTION
Joshua 8:1c "And you shall do to AI and its king as you did to
and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Jericho
Wow! Did he say, "It's spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves?" If Joshua had refused to go, and insisted in wallowing in defeat, he would not have experienced the victories in the future. You shall take is a statement about the future! Think about it- if you refuse to walk forward, you never get to what's just ahead. If you stay in yesterday, you will never experience today or tomorrow. Today and this moment lasts only a moment but there is a future just ahead! We can't stop! We must try again! We must keep going! The call of God to a victorious life in the land of promises does not go away just because there's a failure in the journey of life. It's through those failures that we grow and know and become stronger. The message here is to deal with what needs to be dealt with, put the past behind you and move on. Move on in the promised land. There will be victories and disappointments in this road called life but move forward and don't lose heart.
Forward motion is key! Let the past be the past at last but let the God of forward motion lead you to your victorious future- the booty is just ahead!