How to change a Setback into a Comeback!

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Good Morning — We are in series of sermons in the book of Joshua.. and we have been looking at the battles that Israel fought… Warfare is a big part of Christian life ... -the
Apostle Paul frequently used the metaphor of a soldier to reflect the Christian life. The imagery of warfare is common place in the Scriptures… Many of the O.T. battles were recorded for the benefit of coming Generations to remember and to learn how battles are won and lost..
Memorials like the 12 Stones that were taken out of the Jordan… were placed at key places of worship like Gilgal as memorials for generations that followed… lest they forget..
The book of Joshua is about entering into the promises and rest that God has prepared for his people…
But like every Battle it is not without conflict… The battle for Canaan is a series of battles that are apart of a bigger conflict…… between Good and Evil… that still at work in our world.
2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
In the Conflict we are going to face resistance and Setbacks…and we will get down but we won’t get knocked out.
All of us have faced setback at some point in our lives… maybe we got our hopes up - we had high expectations and for some reason it didn’t work out…We experienced disappointment, frustration and even anger…
This morning message we going to be looking at - HOW TO CHANGE A SETBACK INTO A COMEBACK.
Now the first thing we need to realize is that.... Setbacks are common place in life
You are not the only one in the room whose experienced a setback… … What is important however… is not the Setback need not be fatal…
We can either allow setback to define us or we can leverage a set back to our advantage …
For over two decades Mark Hansen and Jack Canfield shared “stories of hope, inspiration, and encouragement,
As they began to share these stories of Hope and they saw how it touched their audiences, they tried to find a publisher to put them into print. Some publishers thought the stories were too “nice.” Others said “Nobody wants to read a book of little stories.”
Others said just plain “No!“After three years and 33 rejections, they finally found someone who would publish Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Chicken soup sols over 8 million copies.
Most people wouldn’t have pressed on past 33 rejections, but Hansen and Canfield did, and millions of readers are glad they did.
Another example of a Comeback was a guy called
Jack Kilby could have let a set back stop him, but he didn’t. MIT turned down Jack Kilby’s application for admission because his Math scores were too low.
As a result, Kilby never received much training in physics and didn’t get the education he desired. But on December 10, 2000 the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences gave him the Nobel Prize in physics.
Why? Well he only invented something that has probably changed your life and has definitely changed history—the microchip.
Kilby is also the co-inventor of the handheld calculator and has patents for several other inventions.
Too often we let one set back or failure define our lives…
In our text Israel has crossed the Jordan and defeated Jericho a major city… and they are moving forward… towards a small city called AI.. Which is going to prove a little more challenging than expected…
T/s The first thing we need to do to change a Setback into a come back… is too.

1. Pay attention to areas of your life that we are prone to Neglect.

The battle of Jericho was major victory for Israel and would have sent shock waves through the land of Canaan… if Israel could take Jericho… they could easily take every other city in Canaan… Joshua Chapter 6 ends on this High of success with the unbelievable victory over Jericho…
the last verse says.
Joshua 6:27 ESV
27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.
So, God has given Joshua and Israel huge favor…Israel seem to be unstoppable..…-It is easy to imagine Israel surging forward from one city to the next — having one victory after another…but that is not what happens...
Chapter 7.. begins with the significant and pivotal word ‘But’…the people broke faith in regards to the devoted things...
Joshua 7:1 ESV
1 But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.
Before we have any details of what was to follow we are introduced to a problem within Israel..
… ISRAEL had broken faith.. in regards to the Devoted things… because Achan from the tribe of Judah took some of the devoted things and the Lords anger burned towards the people of Israel...
You see… God had commanded Joshua and the people to destroy everything in Jericho…everything was to be given to destruction.. There is a good reason for this..
… Tim Keller tells that God wanted to be distinguished from the other nations.. He didn’t want them to them to a pirate nation and satisfy their desire for increase of national power and for private wealth… God says I will be with you as long as you don’t behave like that… as long as they listen to God they would experience success...
but Achan who ignored this command…And one man disobedience affect the whole Israel… Sin has a ripple affect… we often think that its just impacting us — but it can affect other relationship …
This scene is reminiscent of the Fall…In Romans it tells us
Romans 5:12 ESV
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
Adams sin impacted Humanity but on the same hand one mans obedience brought many sons and daughters to himself… One of act of righteousness leads to righteousness and life for all men..
One mans sin impacts the whole community and this is going to be a major Setback...
The problem here is Neglect… and it is not only neglect of Achan but also Joshua.
Joshua is incredible leader… He leads Israel from the Jordan…to victory against 5 kings of Canaan. Then he settles the Tribes in the New World…
But Joshua… has some of the same infirmities and weakness common to our own humanity.
Up until this point… Joshua has been very intentional… setting aside time to Seek the Lord..
Before crossing the Jordan - took three days to prepare, emotionally, physically and spiritually…
Before taking Jericho… Israel the new generation renewed covenant before the battle of Jericho… and Joshua spent time prostrate before the presence of the Lord…on Holy Ground...
Sometimes heights are dangerous places — success is a wonderful thing but it can also make us vulnerable because we can become overconfident and have the mistaken notion that we can handle things in our own strength.
There are those who have been greatly used of God who have, in the flush of spiritual success, fallen badly
Every battle is going to need fresh grace.. fresh word… but Joshua neglected this vital step..
Joshua 7:2–6 ESV
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” 4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, 5 and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water. 6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads.
lets unpack this text a little bit.. Joshua starts with a familiar strategy ... Joshua sends spies into AI… the same strategy used in Jericho…the same strategy that Moses had used 40 years previously ---
But there are also some noticeable differences --- The first is in the attitude of these spies…
These spies, were brimming over with self-confidence and were inflated with pride at the victory at Jericho.
They contemptuously regarded Ai as a soft target . ‘The people of Ai are few,’ they said.
They sized them up and thought we could easily take them...
Ai had about 12,000 inhabitants, which would probably have given them a fighting force of about 2,000 men. So, the assumption was that 3000 against 2000 troops should bring about an easy win…
Why expend all your resources on a smaller city …rather let the majority of your troops rest and recuperate and have the reserves for the bigger battles ahead. Sounds like a “Smart” idea..
The problem is that there is a huge difference between Faith and presumption… Depending on God and making human assumptions.
Here lies the problem between faith and presumption… Presumption is faith in faith… ...
rather than faith in God… is presuming that believing is enough… If we have faith we will overcome this obstacle… Faith is not just believing it’s hearing…the world of God… it’s Romans 10:17
Romans 10:17 ESV
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Another difference is that there is no mention of divine promises or God’s ability to fight their battles..
This very different from the spies who were sent to look over Jericho! They came back with the report that, ‘Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands’
There is also a neglect of leadership…
As readers we know that there is a problem in the camp… We have the knowledge that God’s Anger is burning towards Israel..
Joshua is kind of oblivious to what is happening around him and is all about business as normal —not knowing that disasters about to strike...
Joshua has neglected Prayer and Consecration --
Instead of Devoting himself and the people so they can prepare them selves Spiritually, emotionally, physically… He just goes with the advice of the spies…
… If Joshua had taken the time to seek God.. it wouldn't have taken very long to discover that God was not very pleased with Israel ..and that there was sin in the camp..
One of our Biggest setback is in our lives can be in the area of neglect. And the things we neglect always lead us to the place of regret…
Neglect... Definition..
A lack of attention to one’s thoughts and deeds, or a failure to give adequate thought to the consequences of one’s actions, often leading to distressing results..
We have all been careless at some point..
A survey sponsored by found that 10 percent of the people they polled were driving with their "Check Engine" light on.
Out of that 10 %… half the cars were showing signs of an impending breakdown and indicated that their warning lights had been on for over 3 months. Another 10 percent said their warning lights light had been on between 1–2 months.... The reason that most people ignored the warning light is because they didn’t believe they had a serious problem..
Neglect doesn’t impact our cars…
What happens when we neglect things like our Relationship— Spouses, children family, finances, walk with the lord…
The consequences are often ends up in regret..
God’s has an answer for our neglect and
When Joshua gets the news of the defeat at AI, his response is to tear his clothes and go into mourning..
He is confused with God… Why did you bring us out of the Jordan to destroy us by the hands of the Amorities —
We’ve heard this language before, haven’t we? It was voiced at the Red Sea: ‘It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness’ (Exodus 14:12); and later when they were hungry: ‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt’
Joshua says we would have been content on the other side of the Jordan…Really they would be content - living in the wilderness again?
God Response to Joshua is to get up? Getting up is the tipping point in Change… You only are defeated when you are knocked down…
Joshua 7:10–12 ESV
The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.
Joshua the answer was to feel depressed and sorry for himself…Depression is a very real problem… Something that can impact individuals and groups of people… We live in a political climate… which is kind of depressing… Depression can impact an entire nation…
The great English preacher D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was so aware of this problem among the people of his congregation after World War II that he preached a series of sermons on it. They are printed in Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure.1
The Lord’s response to Joshua’s and the elders’ mourning was to Get up. Staying down was actually not going to solve the issue… it was much deeper… and had to be dealt with as a community.
How do we change a Setback to Comeback?
1. Pay attention to areas of your life that you are prone to Neglect.

2 Don't settle for superficial Change deal with Deep seated roots.

God gives Israel the command to give over all the spoils of war to destruction… But the temptation is too great for Achan… Some of the plunder is luxurious and exotic.” Huge temptation...
The first item that caught Achan’s eye was a designer coat “one fine luxury mantle /cost from Shinar.” This could be a piece of clothing imported from lower Mesopotamia, the area of the city of Babylon. He finds 6 pounds of silver and wedge of gold…about 1.25 pounds of gold. Achan took the treasures and buried them in the ground… They were well hidden.... here is the thing… Achan could hide his actions from those around him… but he could not hide his sin from God.
God instructs Joshua to have the tribe come before him one at time.. then individually — this was quite the process.. lets read.
Joshua 7:14–15 ESV
14 In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. And the tribe that the Lord takes by lot shall come near by clans. And the clan that the Lord takes shall come near by households. And the household that the Lord takes shall come near man by man. 15 And he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.’ ”
God instructed to go tribe by tribe and then... individual by individual.
b. Achan was not forthcoming…and finally through this process of digging down through tribe the come to the root Cause…
Joshua 7:18–19 ESV
18 And he brought near his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to him. And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.”
it’s only when Achan is caught does he admit that he had stollen the Coat and the Gold and silver and Gold…
Achan was given many opportunities to confess his sin but he remained silent. Did his conscience not trouble him when he saw that thirty-six lives had been lost?
God longs that none perish… but Achan like Jericho… hardened his heart and therefore was given to destruction…we might think that this a Radical response.…Our sins can have a huge impact on our lives and others.. Sin can stop what God is doing… in the life of a community.
We need to careful that we settle for the superfical rather than dealing with Roots ...
Lisa Bevere “Don't settle for the crumbs of comparison when God has invited you to His table”
Ironically—and tragically—for Achan, God allowed the Israelites to take booty in the next victory, at the second battle of Ai (8:2). He could have had anything he wanted if he had only waited on God.
Like Adam and Eve, he lost sight of the character of our generous God and thought that satisfaction required taking. Achan’s greed was his downfall.
God wanted Israel to remember the problem of neglecting hidden sin in our lives — He has Israel… memorialize it by raising the stones on Achans grave..
In an important sense this turning-point is a new “crossing” (as Achan had transgressed, i.e., “crossed,” the covenant). Israel stands whole before Yahweh again, and the forward look into the land, rather than back beyond the Jordan (as in 7:7), can be resumed.
How do we change a Setback to Comeback?
1. Pay attention to areas of your life that you are prone to Neglect.
2 Don't settle for superficial Change deal with Deep seeded roots.

3. Be Encouraged because God is going to use your Setback for your comeback!!

After Israel return to the Lord and the deal with deep seeded sin… They are back on Track — God speaks to Joshua and reveal to them a strategy… Chapter 8 begins with the similar encouragement given in Joshua 1;9 Be strong and Courageous — don’t be afraid or discouraged.. for your Lord is with your where ever you go… It’s interesting that the phrase “Don’t be afraid’ or don’t be ‘discouraged” comes up about 70 times… Discouragement is always the biggest challenge when facing life’s battle…
Unlike Jericho, where God performed a miracle, Israel accomplished the defeat of Ai through Joshua’s God-given military strategy… God shares the plan that God has laid out…
Joshua 8:3–8 ESV
3 So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. And Joshua chose 30,000 mighty men of valor and sent them out by night. 4 And he commanded them, “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you remain ready. 5 And I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out against us just as before, we shall flee before them. 6 And they will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city. For they will say, ‘They are fleeing from us, just as before.’ So we will flee before them. 7 Then you shall rise up from the ambush and seize the city, for the Lord your God will give it into your hand. 8 And as soon as you have taken the city, you shall set the city on fire. You shall do according to the word of the Lord. See, I have commanded you.”
The ambush strategy consisted of 30 000 of the fighting men are going to go secretly at night and behind the city of AI on the Northern side…They are going hide and wait for the signal to advance on the city… While Joshua and the others were going to draw the people out of the city… by pretending that they are fleeing from them…
Notice --- that this is...
Exactly like the first battle… I can just imagine the people of Ai thinking — how dumb are these Israelites… using the exact same tactics… We’ve done it once lets drive them out completely…
What is different is that God is fighting battle and ...
God is going to use the thing that set them back to perform a victory…
a. Israel pretend to flee from AI.. Just like the first battle... but this time 30 000 men who have been waiting all night on the Northern side of the city… occupy the empty city and burn it to the ground...
AI is caught in the middle and is defeated..
The the success of the battle of AI was dependent upon God’s blessing.
As long as Joshua stretched forth his javelin in petition to God, the victory was Israel’s


We are going to learn from every battle that we face in life.. There are some battles that maybe we’ve lost… but the good news is that it’s not over… God is not through… He is not finished..
Maybe you are stuck and you need a breakthrough.. You have gone from one battle... but the campaign is not over... real change can only happen when we get specific.. areas of neglect... are you experiencing regret... take courage that not the end of the story...
Don't settle for imitations .. real change... deal with roots...Give them over to destruction... Be confident... have faith that God is going to take your set back and set you up for your come back... Joshua nation were stronger…
God brings the dead back to life and creates NEW things out of nothing (Rom.4:17b). He still does this. He’s at work in your life today. – Susie Larson
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