What Is The Trouble?
There was something unusually wrong with my lawn. I really couldn't see what the problem was, but I know something was causing damage.
After searching, I discovered the problem: moles. These voracious bug-eaters were lurking right under the surface of my lawn looking for food and wreaking havoc on my grass.
The children of Israel also had a problem with a hidden cause. They were experiencing trouble, and they could not figure out why. There was something hidden from their view that was causing serous damage.
The actual trouble became noticeable when Joshua sent 3,000 men to attack Ai. Although that should have been enough men to defeat Ai's small force, the very opposite happened. Ai routed the Israelites, killing 36 of them and chasing them back where they came from. Joshua had no idea why this trouble had come. God explained the hidden problem: One of his men, Achan, had violated a clear command and had stolen some "accursed things" from Jericho. Only when that hidden sim was discovered and taken care of could Israel have victory.
Hidden sin does great damage. We all need to bring it to the surface and deal with it, or face certain defeat.