Lesson 6Joshua 7:1-26

In our last lesson, we studied the great victory at Jericho and saw that God’s plan, when carried out exactly as prescribed, will always lead to victory. We learned that, even though large obstacles may appear in our path, God always knows how to lead us in a way to overcome them. What a contrast we observe in this lesson, as we examine defeat, in the battle at Ai.


This lesson will reinforce to us the importance of doing what God commands, while also demonstrating the tragic effects of sin, and the impact that our own misdeeds can have on others.

Read Joshua Chapter 7 and consider the following:

  1. Before the victory at Jericho, what instruction did God give his people about the disposition of the "booty"? (see Josh. 6:18-19)
  2. What instructions were the Israelites given while still in the wilderness regarding the portion of the booty that was to be put into the "Lord’s treasury"? (see Numbers 31:21-23)
  3. Why were they instructed to do the above? What precept (a principle or teaching) about fire and being in the presence of the Lord is common throughout all scripture?
  4. Did Israel follow God’s instructions? (see Josh. 7:1)
  5. Compare Joshua 6:18-19 with Joshua 7:2. What is the relationship between these two passages?
  6. Now compare Joshua 2:1 with Joshua 7:2. Do we see any parallels in the preparations for each of these battles?
  7. Compare the spies’ reports in Joshua 2:24 with the reports in Joshua 7:3. Are they different, and if so how?
  8. How do the spies’ reports in Joshua 7:3 contradict an earlier spy report found in Numbers 13:16-14:4?
  9. List the differences you see between the battle and defeat at Ai vs. the battle and victory at Jericho.
  10. In Joshua 7:6-9, who does Joshua blame for the defeat?
  11. What does Joshua appear to be most concerned about regarding the defeat?
  12. What is to happen to the person who sinned? (see Josh. 7:15)
  13. After being confronted with his sin, Achan confessed to it and was stoned; he was then burned. What happened to his family and his possessions? (see Josh. 7:24-26)

By contrasting the victory at Jericho with the defeat at Ai, the impact that not following God can have in our lives becomes very evident. Too often, an easy victory provided by the Lord leads to self-pride, overconfidence, and forgetfulness that God was the one who granted the victory. We then drive headlong into defeat and once again, face down in our defeat and humility, we cry out to God.

Faithful and unending in his love for us, God hears our cries and delivers us once again. What a contrast, the lives of Rahab and her family vs. that of Achan and his family. May God lead you in all that you do so that you and your family will reflect his blessings in your life!

May God richly bless you and greatly increase your faith as you study His Holy Word.

Yours in Christ,