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Here, the Israelites were ashamed in front of the people of Ai. Their defeat meant they would be a failure in front of the whole world. Their enemies would jump on them and tear them down if they came to know about Israelites‚Äô failure in Ai.
In Joshua 7:6 it is written like this, ‚ÄúThen Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of LORD, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same and sprinkled dust on their heads.‚ÄĚ
Joshua cried and asked God, ‚ÄúAlas, Sovereign LORD, why did you do this? Why did this unexpected failure happen to Israel? Now that Israel has been routed by its enemies, the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What we have done for this?‚ÄĚ
Joshua didn‚Äôt even have an idea about what had happened to cause the defeat.
Then the Lord God spoke to Joshua, ‚ÄúStand up! What are you doing down on your face? Why you are praying like this? Get up. The problem is with something else. So however much you pray, the solution for this is different.‚ÄĚ The Lord told Joshua that Israel had sinned in taking some of the accursed things.
Then Joshua understood the entire thing, ‚ÄúIf it so, it‚Äôs not like what I thought.‚ÄĚ If you hide sins and transgressions, and pray, God will not answer you. Listen to David‚Äôs prayer, ‚ÄúIf I have cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would have not listened.‚ÄĚ (Psalms 66:18)