This post is Day 26 in a series of studies about “Surprises”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.

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Surprises – Day 26

Joshua 7:3-5

Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it… for only a few people live there. So about three thousand men went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty six of them.

The Thought

What a surprise for Joshua and all the Israelites when the battle of Ai was lost! They all believed God was on their side and nothing could stop them. The spies had said that it would be an easy fight, so what went wrong? That was Joshua’s question as he lay on his face before the Lord, giving his own ideas about what happened and telling God what the results would be (verse 6-9)!

The Lord’s answer in verses 10-12 was another surprise for Joshua, and it makes sober reading. God was very clear about how to deal with the problem which was sin in the camp! Our Heavenly Father was looking for a Holy People who would live faithful lives before Him. One who knew Him as Father, Provider, Healer, Friend and Saviour, this meant being loving obedient children, and an example to others.

Do we really understand what effect sin has on our lives? When we study that whole subject we can find many unwelcome surprises along the way. Joshua’s first surprise was not winning the battle, the next came when God told him the reason and what to do about it. We’ll look at that tomorrow.


Read Joshua 9:1-12 and think about any times when you have felt that God has let you down. Look at the international situation today and ask yourself if God is still in control. It doesn’t always look like it! But He still has some surprises up His sleeve!

Praise Father God that He does still hold the reins of earthly life, and has good plans for His children, but sometimes He has to teach hard lessons along the way.

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