Read Joshua 7– 8:29
The glory of victory in the first six chapters of Joshua was suddenly replaced by the agony of defeat. Surely there is a lesson here for all of us, that in real life, we find that our “mountain top” experiences are often followed by “valley experiences” and are usually brought on by our own disobedience. In this case, the sin of one individual had a profound effect on the entire tribe of Israel.
I am still laughing about a video posted on Facebook last week. Two black labs are being lectured by their master. “Now boys,” she said, “I want you to think seriously about this matter. Take your time. I want you to come up with an honest answer. Who took the cookie off the kitchen counter?” Immediately, one of the labs quickly placed his paw on his companions head. It is much easier to “pass the buck” than to live up to our own sins.
In these verses, we have a different story. Finally, from the tribe of Judah, a man named Achan confessed to stealing the objects that were to be dedicated to the Lord. Because of his sin, the Lord allowed the Israelites to be defeated by Ai. When Achan and his family were destroyed and Israel confessed their disobedience, God forgave them of their sins and finally gave them victory over the city of Ai.
Again God gave the Israelites another “mountain top” experience. Think about a “mountain top” experience in your own life. How did you deal with the “valley experience” that may have occurred later?