I’m sure that most of you are familiar with the sports legend Michael Jordan. Several years ago he was named as one of the “50 Greatest Basketball Players in NBA History.” Some have said that he was the greatest athlete of all times – regardless of the sport.
During Michael Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls, they won six NBA championships. What’s even more impressive is that those six championships were won within a seven year time period. Five times Michael Jordan was the MVP of the NBA. Fourteen times he played on the All-Star Team. In all of his six championship years, he was the Championship MVP. Michael Jordan also won two gold medals on two separate USA Olympic Basketball Team and National College Championship with the North Carolina Tar-Heels.
Michael Jordan’s basketball resume is unsurpassed, yet consider what Michael Jordan once said – “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
In other words, Michael Jordan was such a huge success because he didn’t let failure stop him. There’s a great quote that says, “Failure Doesn’t Have to be Fatal.” That is proven in today’s passage of scripture.
Joshua 8:1 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. 2 And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves…
What’s most amazing about these words is that in the preceding chapter, Israel had gone up against Ai and lost. Not only did they not win the battle, thirty-six Israeli soldiers were killed. What turned their disaster around? The reason Israel lost before was because there was sin in the camp. A man by the name of Achan tried to commit a secret sin, thinking that no one would ever know. Yet God knew. God saw Achan’s sin and He told Joshua that as long as the sin remained in Israel, they would not be blessed. But the Lord also promised Joshua that once the sin was dealt with properly, He would begin once again to bless His people.
Failure doesn’t have to be final. With God there is always a new day. Though we may have to suffer some of the consequences of our sins, God has promised us that if we will confess our sins, He will forgive them.