Archive for January 14th, 2012

Joshua 10

Joshua 10 is an amazing story of God’s faithfulness to the People of Israel.  A bunch of kings saw what was happening and decided to try and be proactive.  They found out that the Gibeon people had surrendered as slaves to Joshua, so they decided to attack them and punish them for caving in.  They rally together and decide to “strike Gibeon” because it had “made peace with Joshua”.  Bad decision on their part.  I am sure they assumed that Joshua would not respond – these were just slaves after all.  And they had deceived him as well.  But the people of Gibeon cried out “come up to us quickly and save us and help us”.

But God told Joshua that they would not be able to stand against his army.  “So Joshua came….marched up all night….the Lord threw them into a panic….they fled….the Lord threw down large stones from heaven….they died”.  Not necessarily the way to enter a battle.  March the troops all night and face five kingdoms who have united to defeat you.  But that is what faith does. Joshua heard clearly from God that He was going to take care of things, so Joshua just led his fighting men and left the details to God.  And note what happens: “There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword”.  All that marching just to watch God wipe them out.  Can you imagine the scene?  God uses hailstones as a weapon and kills the enemy.  What a sight that must have been.

Then Joshua does something amazing.  He wanted to be sure they finished the job this time – he kept pursing the enemy “until they were wiped out”.  He wasn’t going to make the same mistake they had previously and not complete the job God’s way.  So Joshua says these words: “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley”.  Pretty bold request – or actually a command – isn’t it?  If you wonder if Joshua was plugged in to God and what He was up to – check out these results.  “And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord obeyed the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel”.

Joshua was tuned in to God and His power.  God fought for Israel that day. God enabled His people to finish the job when the sun stood still and the moon stopped.  Joshua was faithful to finish the job.  They captured the 5 kings and Joshua brought them out before his leaders.  They “put your feet on the necks of these kings” and then put them to death.  God gave them the victory that day.   Can you imagine the sun standing still?  Oh what a sight that would have been.  From here God sent them throughout the land and they “struck the whole land, the hill country….the lowland….the slopes…..all their kings. He left none remaining, but devoted to destruction all that breathed, just as the Lord God of Israel commanded…..and Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time”.  Quite a change from the first battle they faced in the Promised Land when they didn’t do it God’s way.  The difference is pretty simple – obedience.  They sought God and followed His direction.  Good things happen when we live that way.  Big things happen.  The sun can even stop……

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