Rev. E. Anderson
The book of Joshua is a good bible book for Christians to study for it gives illustration of, we, too, like Israel should learn to possess their inheritance that God has promised in Christ. There are lessons to learn for all. May you discovered much from the following notes.
INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE – THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
A FORMIDABLE FORCE AND VICTORY
A GREATER CONFLICT: Little did Joshua and the Israelites know what was around the corner in terms of conflict. Jericho and Ai were chicken feed in comparison and contrast with what awaited them in the next round of war. The whole Southern part of the Promised Land had to be taken in one go. A large chunk of the inheritance was to be theirs but it would have to be fought for. This next round would really test their metal but as they succeeded it would really place them in the driving seat. There would be some rather great surprises in the next scene of battle.
AN UNUSUAL CALL: The Gibeonites were to be the ones used to cause this thing initially to happen. Because of the treaty that had been made with Israel the king of Jerusalem is incensed by this seeming act of betrayal and so enlist a powerful list of kings to execute judgment on them – vv-1-5. This was not really Israel’s fight but Joshua was called upon to render immediate assistance –v6. The treaty that had been made gave them the sense of association and some kind of right to look to relationship for instant help. One sees this as a providential factor in getting Israel involved in taking possession. The provocation was a part of divine design to move Israel to a sublime victory. This formidable force was to really challenge the leadership of Joshua and discover whether Israel had the will to fight.
A DEFINTE NEED: Divine help was required at Jericho and Ai but now, more than ever, there was a definite need for the Lord to be amongst them and to render all possible assistance. They were now in tremendous straits with such a powerful opposition. Would Jehovah be at hand to lend His wisdom, power and ability? If this could be successfully wrought then it meant that they were really on their way to full possession of the inheritance. What is revealed is most heartening and encouraging to those who would engage with a formidable, united foe and front.
1/. THERE WAS A FULL-BLOODED RESPONSE TO THE REQUEST – v7
The cry for assistance was immediately responded to. Joshua took the entire army and made sure that all the best fighting men were present. He knew and sensed that he had got a real fight on his hands and that it required all the fighting force to contest it. He is there 100% because he knows that it will everyone and everything to bring about the essential triumph. There was a divine awareness ion his being that this was not merely the set up of man. Behind everything there was the quiet but sure working of God’s mind and hand. He could have felt let the Gibeonites perish because of their treachery but he knew that this was God’s arrangement for supreme conquest.
2/. THERE WAS THE WORD OF THE LORD INTO THE SCENE –v7
The Lord shows up and gives His all-important word to His troops. He nerves them for this major enterprise and conflict by eliminating the fear factor, assuring them of the outcome and that they will be the attacking force and no one will be able to withstand their onslaught. They are to move out on the enemy an take the initiative. The enemy must and will not dictate the terms. It has to be realized amongst them that they are to go for it right from the start and not stop until the end had been achieved. They were winners before they even commenced because the Lord had addressed the troops and situation.
3/. THERE WAS THE SUDDEN SURPRISE ATTACK ON THE ENEMY –v9
It is apparent that Joshua and his army were in terrific mood and spirit because of this because they had an all night march and then went straight into the fight with a surprise attack. The opposition was taken off guard by this quick, ferocious onslaught and were place in the position where they felt vulnerable and exposed. Any strength and initiative they felt that they had suddenly evaporated like vapour and they knew they were on the losing side. The Lord does call upon His people to take the first step in the conflict and to reveal their spiritual stomach for a fight.
4/. THERE WAS INVOLVEMENT OF THE LORD IN THE FIGHT –v10, 11
There was to be quite an eye-opener for Israel and the enemy as all discovers the commitment and engagement of the Lord. The Lord expresses His skill by first of all throwing confusion amongst the ranks of the enemy and then by hurling hailstones on this formidable force. The Lord was more skilled than the Benjamites who could sling stones at an hairsbreadth! He truly fought for Israel and showed His hand by slaying more than all Israel’s host put together. They could not doubt at all that He was the one responsible for the outstanding accomplishment.
5/. THERE WAS THE UNIQUE REQUEST THAT WAS ANSWERED vv12-15
Something more unique was to occur that would be both dynamic and historic: Joshua was to put in a very large request that day to the Lord and it would be immediately answered. There is the call upon sun and moon for assistance so that the victory would be completed. Joshua discovers that the Lord was prepared to listen to His earthly commander and so gave Israel’s forces the longest day that has ever been so the job would be thoroughly completed. There was to be no easing off until there had been the utter routing of the enemy so that it would not be able to rise again. This day would go down in Israel’s history book as one to be remembered because of all that happened.
6/. THERE WAS THE STANDING ON THE NECKS OF THE KINGS –vv22-24
Another important factor was Joshua’s call for the army commanders to stand on the neck of the kings and gave them an inspired word with regard to what they were doing –vv25,26. They need fear no one and nothing in the future because they had witness what the Lord could do amongst them with all opposition. He gave a real lead in his leadership by smiting the kings himself. He was sowing the spirit of faith abroad in them all so that the next excursion would see them more bold than ever.
7/. THERE WAS THE ROUTING OF THE CITIES –vv29-42
The decimation of the kings was the prelude to the taking of their kingdoms and cities. There is the following up in succession of the destruction of the capital cities in one great swoop and campaign. With swiftness and speed they conquered so that the enemy has no time to regroup and become a force again. There was to be rest until the whole task had been satisfactorily completed.
The concluding affirmation is the right one that honours the Lord above all – v42 “because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.” He was more than meet or match for this formidable force. Who can stand against Him or His people! See Romans 8:31