Joshua 8 … Consider Him Who Repurposes our Failures

Repurpose: “(verb) to change (something) so that it can be used for a different purpose; adapt for use in a different purpose.”

Yesterday, we saw the horrible consequence of sin in the midst of the camp of the Lord as the Israelites were put to shame by the humiliating defeat at Ai, including the death of some of their warriors. Chased by the men of Ai, they ran from what should have been their decisive victory.

So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water, (Joshua 7:4-5).

But now, under the leadership of Joshua, the people have responded in repentance and are ready for their new orders.

I was fascinated by the Lord’s strategy. He would again have His men retreat, being chased away in the same way as when undergoing His discipline.

But this time, under His authority, He would Repurpose their Failure and set an ambush against the enemy. Rather than chasing them into certain doom, the men of Ai chased the children of Israel straight into the plan of Him Who Repurposes our Failures.

Consider Him Who Repurposes our Failures

  •  He Repurposes our Failures through His Promise for the Future
    • Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city,” (8:1-2).
  • He Repurposes our Failures through His Intervening Power
    • Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from it. All of you be on the alert. I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them. They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are running away from us as they did before.’ So when we flee from them, you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The Lord your God will give it into your hand, (8:4-7).
  • He Repurposes our Failures through our Obedience
    • When you have taken the city, set it on fire. Do what the Lord has commanded. See to it; you have my orders, (8:8).
  • He Repurposes our Failures through our Worship
    • Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings, (8:30-31).
  • He Repurposes our Failures through our Commitment to His Word
    • There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses… 34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the foreigners who lived among them, (8:32).

How do we respond to Him Who Repurposes our Failures?

The Lord has promised when we come to Jesus in faith and repentance, He will Repurpose our Failures, bringing beauty to our lives and glory to Him.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor,
(Isaiah 61:1-3).

Although we are born into His family by faith, we will still fail. When we do, let us be quick to confess our sins.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9).

Let us not allow our defeats to defeat us. By faith, let us hear the encouraging voice of Him Who Repurposes our Failures.

“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

As we receive His forgiveness, let us follow the example of Paul; that we would let go of the past in order to take hold of His Future. And as we entrust ourselves to what He alone will accomplish by His Power, committing our lives to Obedience, Worship and His Word, may we press on by faith and His grace; for faithful is He Who Repurposes our Failures.

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 3:13-14).

Let’s Grow Together!

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