Today's Favorite Verse: Joshua 8:2
"And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it."
When Israel took Jericho they were not to take of the spoils. Every man and women, young and old, the ox, sheep and ass, all were to be killed. The silver, gold, vessels of brass and iron were to be consecrated to the Lord for his treasury. Achan of the tribe of Judah did what was accursed and kept some gold and silver to himself. This was why Israel was defeated and fled the first time they went up to Ai. Now that Achan and his household were destroyed Israel was told to go up to Ai again.
I found it interesting that this time they are to keep the cattle. They are also told how to ambush them. Interesting that the act of men fleeing before Ai before was used to defeat them this time. So the earlier failure wasn't really a failure. I thought about how many men's lives were saved with these two separate events of taking Ai. I pondered on how I have seen my defeats turn into great blessings in the end.
I felt impressed to read this verse.
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for it they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
Then I went back and replaced the word weak(ness) to failure(s). It was very enlightening to see how it applied to what Israel just went through. I have also experienced this in my life. There are no failures if I use them to be taught of the Lord.