Day 84 reading: Joshua, chapters 9-11
When there is good around, there is sure to be evil lurking in the midst. Everyone wants a piece of the good stuff, and some will deceive just to get it, as was the case with the Hivites in our reading today.
They said to him, “Your servants have come from a very far country because of the fame of the Lord your God.” (9:9, NASB)
This was an untruth, but when people find out about the incredible works the Lord does in each of our lives, they want a taste of the goodness. Who can blame them? I want that joy of the Lord in my own life, too! But there is work to be done, first.
And, as followers and servants of the Lord our God, we no longer act on our own, with our own human brains that are only here for this life, but we choose to consult the Lord in decisions, such as who to allow into our lives, who to trust, where to journey, and how far to travel down this or that path to lead to Him.
So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord. (9:14, NASB)
I know I’m guilty of acting without first seeking. And isn’t it true that, whether major or minor decisions, that’s when I fall flat on my face. The Lord stresses again and again through His Inspired Word the importance of communication and relationship with Him.
“Oh son, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
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. 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. (10:12-14, NASB)
Joshua was so blessed by the Lord that He acted as Joshua spoke.
I may be reading into this too much or putting my own slant in here, but I believe that Joshua was so filled with the Spirit that his words were truly the Lord’s, so God was acting through Joshua and not necessarily because of Joshua. I would enjoy reading your thoughts on this, as well.
Then, after the defeat of nations and kings, Joshua spoke to his leaders with further strength and proof of the Lord’s Presence under his belt:
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.
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.” (10:24-25, NASB)
I find it interesting that after these Israelites defeated the powerful kings and nations, Joshua is telling them to stand firm and not be afraid in the sight of these defeated kings, who were actually awaiting their death. But it strikes a familiar note with me that in the face of storms or wars, I find that I act without fear, charging ahead to protect and defend. Then, it’s only after the fact, after the dust has settled, that all that I have been through seems to set in and the fear also sets heavy on me. That’s when the tears and fears come. It seems the same was happening among the chiefs of Israel. But Joshua tells them to “Be strong and courageous” as we should be, as well. He is with us in defeat of our enemies, and in defeat of the evil one who is constantly at war in (and for) our lives. We are to be strong and courageous in preparation, in action, and in retrospect!
Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. (10:40, NASB)
Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did; he left nothing undone that the Lord had commanded Moses. (11:15, NASB)
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. (11:23, NASB)
Acting in obedience has to be first on our hearts and minds in our walk with Him.
Make it a great day,
Day 85 reading: Joshua, chapters 12-15