In Joshua 7, the spies tell Joshua to send just some of fighting men to Ai, that it wouldn’t be hard, so not many would be needed to go to fight. Joshua didn’t see the trouble with that. He sends a few thousand, and they are defeated because the Lord wasn’t with them.
Joshua needed to see that the people, by saying it would be easy and not many of them would be required, were relying on their own strength and not on God. They weren’t seeing the last victory as only because God had been on their side.
What do your words say about what you believe? Do you stop and think about your words and actions and what they say about what you believe about God and your relationship to Him? What security nets do you have in place (insurance, savings, retirement, etc.)? Why? Think it through for real. Stop and talk it through. What does that mean in terms of your belief in God and yourself? Why do you have the job you have? What does that mean in terms of your belief in God and yourself? Why do you do the things you do? Do you take vacations? Why? What do you do when you are sick? Why? What does that mean in terms of your belief in God and yourself? What do you do when something goes wrong? Is your reaction to turn to God first? What do you do when the car won’t start or the pipe breaks? Why? What does that mean in terms of your belief in God and yourself?
Do your words and actions show that you don’t trust God to save you? Do your words and actions show you believe you can save yourself or would rather rely on yourself for salvation?
The Lord, this time, tells Joshua to send in everybody to fight. He wasn’t going to encourage their thinking that they were so strong and just needed a few people.
The Lord lays out the strategy of attack, and, of course, it works. After the victory, Joshua acknowledges the Lord. He builds an altar according to how the Lord directed Moses and writes on it the law and then reads it to the people.
He keeps God’s Word before him, acknowledges God, worships, listens, and obeys. He gets the victory.