Archive for January 16th, 2012

Joshua 11

Joshua 11 has yet another set of kings and armies preparing to do battle with Joshua.  They came together as “a great horde, in number like the sand”.  That is a lot of soldiers to fight.  But Joshua knew the reality that one plus God is still a majority – that is all it takes to win.  The Lord came to Joshua and told him “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them”.  Pretty strong promise from God here. And certainly to this point, God has given Joshua no reason to doubt Him at all.

So Joshua and the warriors head out to do battle, and God “gave them in the hand of Israel”.  God again does the work and fights the battle.   Joshua and the boys are basically in cleanup mode.  They “did not leave any who breathed” – they finished them all off just as they had been told by God.  They took the plunder but killed the people and their leaders.  No partial obedience this time – total and complete to do exactly what God had said.

Scripture paints this picture of the chain of command and what it means to be fully obedient:
–       “the Lord had commanded Moses

–       Moses commanded Joshua

–       so Joshua did”

Scripture goes on to say “he left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses”.  Joshua understood the chain of command.  God told Moses – Moses told Joshua – Joshua did exactly what was told to him.  He did it all down to the very last detail.  It was all about obedience. It was all about following God’s commandments.

So what happens?  Joshua captures them all.  He kills them and renders their cities a disaster by burning them.  They fought and captured the Promised Land.  And after all that, he gave the land “for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments”.  Joshua carried out the plan Moses had set forth.  The tribes each received their part of the new land.  But then the good stuff comes: “And the land had rest from war”.  After the obedience came peace.  After they did it God’s way they were able to rest and enjoy.  God gives them rest!

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