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, 2 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— 3 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. 4 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. 5 So all of these kings having agreed to meet, came and encamped together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
6 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.” 7 So Joshua and all the people of war with him came upon them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and attacked them. 8 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. 9 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.