Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 15

Territory of Judah

15 Now the lot for the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families [a]reached the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south. Their south border was from the lower end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that turns to the south. Then it proceeded southward to the ascent of Akrabbim and continued to Zin, then went up by the south of Kadesh-barnea and continued to Hezron, and went up to Addar and turned about to Karka. It continued to Azmon and proceeded to the [b]brook of Egypt, and the [c]border ended at the sea. This shall be your south border. The east border was the Salt Sea, as far as the [d]mouth of the Jordan. And the border of the north side was from the bay of the sea at the [e]mouth of the Jordan. Then the border went up to Beth-hoglah, and continued on the north of Beth-arabah, and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. The border went up to Debir from the valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south of the valley; and the border continued to the waters of En-shemesh and [f]it ended at En-rogel. Then the border went up the valley of Ben-hinnom to the slope of the Jebusite on the south (that is, Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the mountain which is before the valley of Hinnom to the west, which is at the end of the valley of Rephaim toward the north. From the top of the mountain the border curved to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah and proceeded to the cities of Mount Ephron, then the border curved to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). 10 The border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and continued to the slope of Mount Jearim on the north (that is, Chesalon), and went down to Beth-shemesh and continued through Timnah. 11 The border proceeded to the side of Ekron northward. Then the border curved to Shikkeron and continued to Mount Baalah and proceeded to Jabneel, and the [g]border ended at the sea. 12 The west border was at the Great Sea, even its [h]coastline. This is the border around the sons of Judah according to their families.

13 Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the [i]command of the Lord to Joshua, namely[j]Kiriath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron). 14 Caleb [k]drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. 16 And Caleb said, “The one who [l]attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, [m]I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.” 17 Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it; so he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife. 18 It came about that when she came to him, she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she alighted from the donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 19 Then she said, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the [n]Negev, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families.

21 Now the cities at the extremity of the tribe of the sons of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were Kabzeel and Eder and Jagur, 22 and Kinah and Dimonah and Adadah, 23 and Kedesh and Hazor and Ithnan, 24 Ziph and Telem and Bealoth,25 and Hazor-hadattah and Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam and Shema and Moladah, 27 and Hazar-gaddah and Heshmon and Beth-pelet, 28 and Hazar-shual and Beersheba and Biziothiah, 29 Baalah and Iim and Ezem, 30 and Eltolad and Chesil and Hormah, 31 and Ziklag and Madmannah and Sansannah, 32 and Lebaoth and Shilhim and Ain and Rimmon; in all, twenty-nine cities with their villages.

33 In the lowland: Eshtaol and Zorah and Ashnah, 34 and Zanoah and En-gannim, Tappuah and Enam, 35 Jarmuth and Adullam, Socoh and Azekah, 36 and Shaaraim and Adithaim and Gederah and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages.

37 Zenan and Hadashah and Migdal-gad, 38 and Dilean and Mizpeh and Joktheel,39 Lachish and Bozkath and Eglon, 40 and Cabbon and Lahmas and Chitlish, 41 and Gederoth, Beth-dagon and Naamah and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages.

42 Libnah and Ether and Ashan, 43 and Iphtah and Ashnah and Nezib, 44 and Keilah and Achzib and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages.

45 Ekron, with its towns and its villages; 46 from Ekron even to the sea, all that were by the [o]side of Ashdod, with their villages.

47 Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; as far as the [p]brook of Egypt and the Great Sea, even its [q]coastline.

48 In the hill country: Shamir and Jattir and Socoh, 49 and Dannah and Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), 50 and Anab and Eshtemoh and Anim, 51 and Goshen and Holon and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages.

52 Arab and Dumah and Eshan, 53 and Janum and Beth-tappuah and Aphekah,54 and Humtah and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior; nine cities with their villages.

55 Maon, Carmel and Ziph and Juttah, 56 and Jezreel and Jokdeam and Zanoah,57 Kain, Gibeah and Timnah; ten cities with their villages.

58 Halhul, Beth-zur and Gedor, 59 and Maarath and Beth-anoth and Eltekon; six cities with their villages.

60 Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah; two cities with their villages.

61 In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin and Secacah, 62 and Nibshan and the City of Salt and Engedi; six cities with their villages.

63 Now as for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not [r]drive them out; so the Jebusites live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day.

The story of Achsah is an interesting diversion from what would otherwise just be a legal document. It reminds me of something Jesus once said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”

Here we see a fantastic contrast of that in action. Caleb (though not really evil, but still a sinful man just like any of us) gives his daughter a piece of good land because he loved his daughter.

On a larger scale, God gave the Israelites this land because He loved them. Yet I think we find it incredible that God would care too much about our physical needs. Certainly, some of us could not handle being rich, at least not all at once, and so God doesn’t overwhelm us with millions.

But He has given us this incredible world to live and work in, which is pretty amazing just in itself. Sure, it’s not perfect, as it suffers the consequences of our sin, but it is still a gift from God.

How many gifts from God do we take for granted? We need to slow down, and enjoy what He has given us (whether great or small), and take the time to thank Him for it.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 14

Caleb’s Request

14 Now these are the territories which the sons of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the [a]households of the tribes of the sons of Israel apportioned to them for an inheritance, by the lot of their inheritance, as the Lord commanded [b]through Moses, for the nine tribes and the half-tribe. For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe beyond the Jordan; but he did not give an inheritance to the Levites among them. For the sons of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, and they did not give a portion to the Levites in the land, except cities to live in, with their pasture lands for their livestock and for their property. Thus the sons of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they divided the land.

Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses the man of God concerning [c]you and me in Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people [d]melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully. So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully.’ 10 Now behold, the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12 Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will [e]drive them out as the Lord has spoken.”

13 So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the Lord God of Israel fully. 15 Now the name of Hebron was formerly [f]Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.

Here was a man, 85 years old, who had outlived all his fellow countrymen (except Joshua), and he says “I am still as strong today as I was…” 40 years earlier. He saw a land, and the Lord put it in his heart, that this was not a land of fear, filled with giants.

Caleb saw it as a land of opportunity, and now he wanted Joshua’s blessing to take on this challenge/opportunity and leave an inheritance to his descendants that they would never forget. An inheritance that would forever remind them that giants had lived here, and God helped them conquer the land in spite of the difficulty.

In many situations, we have this decision, to perceive something as a trial, a burden, an obstacle, or to see it as an opportunity. It is rare, perhaps impossible, that God brings a trial into our lives, and it isn’t an opportunity for us to see Him work, and for us to grow in our faith.

Take the opportunities life hands you, and as they often say, make lemonade!

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 13:15-33

15 So Moses gave an inheritance to the tribe of the sons of Reuben according to their families. 16 Their [i]territory was from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley and all the plain by Medeba; 17 Heshbon, and all its cities which are on the plain: Dibon and Bamoth-baal and Beth-baal-meon, 18 and Jahaz and Kedemoth and Mephaath, 19 and Kiriathaim and Sibmah and Zereth-shahar on the hill of the valley, 20 and Beth-peor and the slopes of Pisgah and Beth-jeshimoth, 21 even all the cities of the plain and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses struck with the chiefs of Midian, Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the princes of Sihon, who lived in the land. 22 The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain. 23 The border of the sons of Reuben was the [j]Jordan. This was the inheritance of the sons of Reuben according to their families, the cities and their villages.

24 Moses also gave an inheritance to the tribe of Gad, to the sons of Gad, according to their families. 25 Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the sons of Ammon, as far as Aroer which is before Rabbah; 26 and from Heshbon as far as Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim, and from Mahanaim as far as the border of [k]Debir; 27 and in the valley, Beth-haram and Beth-nimrah and Succoth and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, with the Jordan [l]as a border, as far as the lower end of the Sea of [m]Chinnereth beyond the Jordan to the east. 28 This is the inheritance of the sons of Gad according to their families, the cities and their villages.

29 Moses also gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh; and it was for the half-tribe of the sons of Manasseh according to their families. 30 Their territory was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the [n]towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, sixty cities; 31 also half of Gilead, with Ashtaroth and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were for the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh, for half of the sons of Machir according to their families.

32 These are the territories which Moses apportioned for an inheritance in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan at Jericho to the east. 33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance; the Lord, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as He had [o]promised to them.

There’s a small reminder here of Balaam, the diviner. He was a man who had heard from God, but he didn’t listen very well. Perhaps if he had obeyed God, he would have lived among the Israelites, but he kept trying to find a way around God, and it ultimately cost his life.

Elsewhere, the Bible says that God has written eternity on our hearts, but it seems that many of us keep trying to find a way to happiness that goes around God. Alas, no such road exists, for God is the only one in this world that is truly good and He is the only source of true happiness and joy.

You can go in circles your whole life looking for fulfillment, or you can choose the source of fulfillment, the One you were pre-destined to find.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 13:1-14

Canaan Divided among the Tribes

13 Now Joshua was old and advanced in years when the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed. This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and all those of the Geshurites; from the Shihor which is [a]east of Egypt, even as far as the border of Ekron to the north (it is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistines: the Gazite, the Ashdodite, the Ashkelonite, the Gittite, the Ekronite; and the Avvite [b]to the south, all the land of the Canaanite, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorite; and the land of the Gebalite, and all of Lebanon, toward the [c]east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as [d]Lebo-hamath. All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon as far as Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians, I will [e]drive them out from before the sons of Israel; only allot it to Israel for an inheritance as I have commanded you. Now therefore, apportion this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”

With [f]the other half-tribe, the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses gave them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the Lord gave to them; from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba, as far as Dibon; 10 and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the border of the sons of Ammon; 11 and Gilead, and the [g]territory of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and all Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah; 12 all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei (he alone was left of the remnant of the Rephaim); for Moses struck them and dispossessed them. 13 But the sons of Israel did not dispossess the Geshurites or the Maacathites; for Geshur and Maacath live among Israel until this day. 14 Only to the tribe of Levi he did not give an inheritance; the offerings by fire to the Lord, the God of Israel, are [h]their inheritance, as He spoke to him.

This passage gives us some idea of the scale of this war that was being waged by God via the Israelites. There were so many people, that they could not all be conquered before Joshua became an old man. Granted, he wasn’t exactly a young man when he took on the mantle of leadership (80), but Moses didn’t die until he was over 120 years old.

At any rate, there was still land to be conquered, and someone had to be responsible for that task. So God told Joshua to apportion the land to the tribes so that it would be their responsibility to conquer.

God gives us all a responsibility in His kingdom, and to think otherwise is to belittle the role that God expects of us. He doesn’t rescue us from sin and death only to have us sit around and talk about it (or just sit). God has a plan for each of our lives, He has already set things in motion that we don’t even know (both spiritual and physical), and is simply waiting for us to “take up arms” and engage in the battle for souls.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 12

Kings Defeated by Israel

12 Now these are the kings of the land whom the sons of Israel [a]defeated, and whose land they possessed beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, from the valley of the Arnon as far as Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah to the east: Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, both the middle of the valley and half of Gilead, even as far as the brook Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon; and the Arabah as far as the Sea of [b]Chinneroth toward the east, and as far as the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, eastward [c]toward Beth-jeshimoth, and on the south, [d]at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah; and the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the remnant of Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, and ruled over Mount Hermon and Salecah and all Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half of Gilead, as far as the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. Moses the servant of the Lord and the sons of Israel [e]defeated them; and Moses the servant of the Lord gave it to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh as a possession.

Now these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the sons of Israel [f]defeated beyond the Jordan toward the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even as far as Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir; and Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, in the hill country, in the lowland, in the Arabah, on the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the [g]Negev; the Hittite, the Amorite and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite: the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;10 the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; 11 the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; 12 the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; 13 the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; 14 the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; 15 the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; 16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; 17 the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; 18 the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; 19 the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; 20 the king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; 21 the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one; 22 the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one; 23 the king of Dor in the [h]heights of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one; 24 the king of Tirzah, one: in all, thirty-one kings.

This passage that reads more like a “hit list” would have been one more reminder to the Israelites of how God had fought for them. It’s easy to read through it in 30 seconds and think, “well, that was easy!”

But for the Israelites who had been through it, this war against the inhabitants of the promised land was anything but easy. It was grueling, dangerous, scary, and likely daunting.

Except for the fact that God was on their side, and so long as they followed His plan, they were victorious. And this list was a reminder of how much God had done for them. What’s on your hit list? What are the things God has done for you? Write it out if you need to, but think of all the gifts from God that are in your life. Use it to help you stay the course, and keep running the race.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 11:10-23

10 Then Joshua turned back at that time, and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor formerly was the head of all these kingdoms. 11 They struck every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, [e]utterly destroying them; there was no one left who breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire.12 Joshua captured all the cities of these kings, and all their kings, and he struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed them; just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. 13 However, Israel did not burn any cities that stood on their mounds, except Hazor alone, which Joshua burned. 14 All the spoil of these cities and the cattle, the sons of Israel took as their plunder; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them. They left no one who breathed. 15 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

16 Thus Joshua took all that land: the hill country and all the [f]Negev, all that land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel and its lowland 17 from Mount Halak, that rises toward Seir, even as far as Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon [g]at the foot of Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them down and put them to death. 18 Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings. 19 There was not a city which made peace with the sons of Israel except the Hivites living in Gibeon; they took them all in battle. 20 For it was of the Lord to [h]harden their hearts, to meet Israel in battle in order that he might utterly destroy them, that they might [i]receive no mercy, but that he might destroy them, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.

21 Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. 22 There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained. 23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Thus the land had rest from war.

In a couple places in scripture, there’s an odd notation that God “hardened” someone’s heart. This seems like an strange thing, didn’t these people have free will? Well, of course they did, but obviously their hearts were inclined to hardness, or whatever God did wouldn’t have worked.

I don’t know all the ins and outs of that, nor do I understand fully how God could harden a heart. What I do know, is that it was part of His plan. Everything the Israelites were doing here was in following the command of God to conquer the land.

As they fought battle after battle, it must have seemed an interminable war. But the reality was that God had given them this land, and the only way that was going to happen was if they followed God’s plan. Sometimes, we don’t have such a clear directive. If we listen though, God will speak to our hearts, he will direct our path, and be a light on our way.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 11:1-9

Northern Palestine Taken

11 Then it came about, when Jabin king of Hazor heard of it, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon and to the king of Shimron and to the king of Achshaph, and to the kings who were of the north in the hill country, and in the Arabah—south of [a]Chinneroth and in the lowland and on the [b]heights of Dor on the west— to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Jebusite in the hill country, and the Hivite [c]at the foot of Hermon in the land of Mizpeh. They came out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. So all of these kings having agreed to meet, came and encamped together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” So Joshua and all the people of war with him came upon them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and attacked them. The Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, so that they [d]defeated them, and pursued them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim and the valley of Mizpeh to the east; and they struck them until no survivor was left to them. Joshua did to them as the Lord had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.

As things progressed, it seemed that God was building their confidence. Not in themselves, lest they should be overwhelmed at a superior force, but trusting in God, in whom there is no wavering or weakness.

He didn’t throw them into a huge battle against all the inhabitants at once, but built up to it. This one was probably one of the largest battles they fought to take control of the land of promise, and it starts out with Joshua talking to God, or at least listening for God. Hint: you won’t hear God if you aren’t listening. Shocking, right?

Joshua and the people trusted in God, and trusted what He told them, and thus they had the victory over an army that was described “as many as the sand that is on the seashore.” Now, Israel had a huge army as well, but this is the sort of odds where you end up with huge losses on both sides, and the survivors grieving at the massive casualties.

Not so on that day though, and we can take comfort when the odds don’t look favorable, that when we trust God, listen for His voice, and follow Him, He will not let us down.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 10:29-43

Joshua’s Conquest of Southern Palestine

29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah, and fought against Libnah. 30 The Lord gave it also with its king into the hands of Israel, and he struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor in it. Thus he did to its king just as he had done to the king of Jericho.

31 And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish, and they camped by it and fought against it. 32 The Lord gave Lachish into the hands of Israel; and he captured it on the second day, and struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, according to all that he had done to Libnah.

33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish, and Joshua [r]defeated him and his people until he had left him no survivor.

34 And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon, and they camped by it and fought against it. 35 They captured it on that day and struck it with the edge of the sword; and he [s]utterly destroyed that day every person who was in it, according to all that he had done to Lachish.

36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron, and they fought against it. 37 They captured it and struck it and its king and all its cities and all the persons who were in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor, according to all that he had done to Eglon. And he [t]utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it.

38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to Debir, and they fought against it.39 He captured it and its king and all its cities, and they struck them with the edge of the sword, and [u]utterly destroyed every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Just as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king, as he had also done to Libnah and its king.

40 Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the [v]Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he [w]utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua struck them from Kadesh-barnea even as far as Gaza, and all the country of Goshen even as far as Gibeon. 42 Joshua captured all these kings and their lands at one time, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. 43 So Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.

God had called Joshua and the Israelites to an impossible task. And Joshua had at first been overwhelmed. However, here he was, leading the Israelites into battle with victory after victory.

Joshua could do this, because he knew that he was following God’s command, and that God was fighting for Israel. Joshua didn’t have to win the battles, God would see to that. He just had to lead the people to follow God’s command.

God may call us to some big things, some impossible things. They may seem overwhelming, but when God asks for it, He also provides a way. He does not call us to something, and then leave us on our own to accomplish it. The beauty of who God is, is that everything we do is done because of Him. We breathe because He gave us lungs, and air that is fit for our bodies to take in. From the simplest to the most complex, all is the same. We can do these things, because of God and what He has provided.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 10:16-28

Victory at Makkedah

16 Now these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah.17 It was told Joshua, saying, “The five kings have been found hidden in the cave at Makkedah.” 18 Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and assign men by it to guard them, 19 but do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and [j]attack them in the rear. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the Lord your God has delivered them into your hand.” 20 It came about when Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished [k]slaying them with a very great slaughter, until they were destroyed, and the survivors who remained of them [l]had entered the fortified cities, 21 that all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace. No one [m]uttered a word against any of the sons of Israel.

22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring these five kings out to me from the cave.” 23 They did so, and brought these five kings out to him from the cave: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. 24 When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua then said to them, “Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.” 26 So afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees; and they hung on the trees until evening.27 It came about at [n]sunset that Joshua gave a command, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and put large stones over the mouth of the cave, to this very day.

28 Now Joshua captured Makkedah on that day, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword; he [o]utterly destroyed [p]it and every [q]person who was in it. He left no survivor. Thus he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.

Verse 21 has an odd twist in it. All the people return to camp, and the record notes that “no one uttered a word (literally ‘sharpened their tongue’) against any of the sons of Israel.”

Now why in the world would anyone say anything against their own soldiers who had been fighting? Well, you might do so if there was someone you noticed being cowardly, hanging back in the rear, or even someone who neglected to go out to battle that day.

So I think this note was their way of saying something like, “and there were no cowards found in the camp that day”. Which fits with Joshua’s earlier encouragement “Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous…”

Certainly this was a big battle, with a large force. The five kings would not have dared to challenge the hosts of Israel unless they had at least a similar host to match up against them. It would not have been surprising for someone to be hesitant to enjoin such a battle.

But on that day, they remembered who was fighting for them, and as it says in other places, “they went out as one man”. They were united in their cause, for they were fighting on God’s side, doing His will, and following His lead.

When you are seeking and following God, do not fear or be dismayed. Instead, be strong, be courageous. God is with you, for you are with Him.

Categories
Uncategorized

Joshua 10:1-15

Five Kings Attack Gibeon

10 Now it came about when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai, and had [a]utterly destroyed it (just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king), and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were [b]within their land, that [c]he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron and to Piram king of Jarmuth and to Japhia king of Lachish and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, “Come up to me and help me, and let us [d]attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.” So the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they with all their armies, and camped by Gibeon and fought against it.

Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not [e]abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have assembled against us.”So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the valiant warriors. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not [f]one of them shall stand before you.” So Joshua came upon them suddenly [g]by marching all night from Gilgal. 10 And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He [h]slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died [i]from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.

12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

“O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.

Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.

15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp to Gilgal.

The most amazing part of this passage is in verse 11: “there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.” Although, if the Lord was fighting for Israel, then it really shouldn’t be that amazing. He has all power in heaven and earth, and they were just a paltry human army. Naturally, God is going to do more damage when He decides to wage war.

Likewise, when we are following the will of God, it should not surprise us that things just seem to fall into place, as if by happy coincidence. But I have a little secret for you: there is no such thing as just a happy coincidence. God has a plan, and it includes rescuing and loving you.