Joshua 8:1-29

Talks for Growing Christians

Israel's Victory Over Ai

Joshua 8:1-29

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Lesson Number 13

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The enemy does not have the last laugh.
  2. The enemy does not know the tactics of the Lord.

Practical Application

  1. Let God give you victory in your place of defeat.


  1. God gave a great victory over Jericho. Why, then, were the Israelites defeated in a little place called Ai?
  2. How did Achan rob God?
  3. What was the strategy used to defeat Ai?
  4. Why did the men of Ai think they had won again?
  5. What was the name of the valley where Israel was judged for their sin?
  6. What was the restriction concerning the booty to the victors in Jericho?
  7. What was the restriction concerning the booty to the victors in Ai?


  1. Because they were disobedient, overconfident and didn't consult the Lord for His direction.
  2. By taking some of the silver and gold of Jericho, which was to go into the treasury of the Lord.
  3. Joshua divided his forces to set up an ambush and trap the enemy between his contingents.
  4. They thought that Israel had come up as before when Joshua's main force pretended to flee. But they were trapped with no way of escape.
  5. The Valley of Achor.
  6. The silver and gold were to go into the treasury of the Lord.
  7. There were no restrictions - it was free for the taking.


  1. The people of Ai probably laughed in derision as they saw the army of Joshua running away as before. Little did they know that Israel would have the last laugh. Similarly, Satan tries to defeat us in the land of spiritual realities, and sometimes he is able to trip us up with the little Ais. But the enemy does not have the last laugh. God is the ultimate victor and will turn defeat into victory. When you feel defeated, remember that God can pick up the pieces of your life.
  2. The pagan Canaanites were outfoxed by Joshua and the army of Israel, who were directed by the Lord Himself. At the cross, Satan thought he was victorious when Jesus died. But God conquered death and raised Jesus from the tomb. Christ Jesus lives today! Have faith in God.


  1. God wants to give you victory in the place of defeat. Israel was defeated at Ai, but the second time around, Ai was defeated. The Valley of Achor, where Israel was judged for their sin and defeat, would become a door of hope for Israel in the future. See Hosea 2:15. In the very place of your Ai, the place of your defeat, God can bring victory.

Key Verses

  • "Now the Lord said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid, nor dismayed...arise, go up to Ai. I have given it into your hand." (Joshua 8:1)
  • "Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation to this day." (Joshua 8:28)

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