top of page
  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

June 17 2024

Monday June 17

The Mother of All Sins


Joshua 7:2-5

2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them, saying, "Go up and spy out the country." So the men went up and spied out Ai.

3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, "Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few."

4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai.

5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them from before the gate as far as Shebarim, and struck them down on the descent; therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.


Yesterday we talked about Achan’s sin that brought defeat to Israel. He saw, he coveted, he took, and he hid the goods under his tent. If we are not careful, we will miss the greater sin that was committed in Joshua 7. The people had experienced a great victory by faith over Jericho. It was a victory that really only God could be given credit for. Joshua sought the LORD, and the LORD gave him the instructions, and as strange as they were, Joshua and the people obeyed them. God miraculously made the great walls fall flat and all the people had to do was claim what God had promised as they marched forward into the city.


Now a few days later they face their next battle with the little city of Ai about 16 miles away. It only had about 12,000 inhabitants and few fortifications. Without consulting the LORD, Joshua sends some men to spy out the city and they return and declare that it is so small we need only a handful of soldiers to take it. Again, without praying, Joshua follows their advice, sends 3,000 men who are soundly defeated and 36 of them are killed. The name of God is greatly disgraced!


How often we might experience a great spiritual victory in our lives and churches only to be overtaken with a great defeat shortly afterwards! It is so easy for pride to sneak into our hearts, and we take credit for the victory. What was Israel's sin? The sin of Israel was the sin of carelessness, marked first of all by pride (v. 3).  They thought they could defeat little Ai, because they had defeated Jericho. You see, they forgot that Jericho wasn't their victory, Jericho was God's victory, God's victory. But somehow in their mind they had the idea that they had done it.


Pride is the mother of all sins. Pride gives birth to every sin in our lives, and in the human race for that matter.

Pride leads us to become careless. Carelessness leads to prayerlessness! You know why we don’t pray? Because we don’t think we need to pray! We can do it ourselves without the Lord’s help! Maybe if Joshua had prayed before he sent the spies out, God would have told him then about the “sin in the camp”. Pride always leads to presumption and that is we think we can do it without God’s help.


We first should be encouraged to know that there is no stronghold of Satan, there is no power of sin that the child of God cannot overcome in the strength of the Holy Spirit. Isn't that wonderful? No power of Satan is so great that can stand against you. There is no Jericho of sin that can withstand you when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. That's encouragement. There is no power or sin so great you cannot overcome it. (1 Corinthians 10:13). But, there is no power of Satan so small that you can overcome it in the strength of your flesh. And, that's exactly where God has put you. Nothing can stand before you in the power of the Holy Spirit, but there's nothing that you can overcome in the strength of your flesh. Israel overcame Jericho in the power of the Lord, but they failed at little Ai in the strength of their flesh. They presumed that God would be with them.


It's not the Jericho’s that defeat the average Christian, it's the Ai’s. It's not the big things, it's the little foxes that spoil the vine. It's the things we think, "We can handle that, to take care of Ai, we can handle that. Oh, don't send everybody up to take care of Ai, after all, aren't we known as the great military warriors and victors?"

The sin of pride, and the child of pride is presumption, and the grandchild of pride is prayerlessness because once we presume we can do it then we don't pray any more. Pride, presumption, prayerlessness, Joshua wasn't praying.


Do you know what we do? We wait until we make a mess of things and then we come to God in prayer. Prayer needs to be our first thought, not our last resort. We need to wake up in the morning and put on the whole armor of God through prayer. All of our failures are really prayer failures that root in our presumption that roots in our pride. We can’t afford to get careless in our prayer life and our Bible study, or any spiritual discipline.


Today we should not forget these verses in Proverbs 16:18-20, “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil with the proud. He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.”


God bless!

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page