Joshua 10 – The Sun Stops

Joshua 10:1-6 – They wouldn’t attach Israel directly, but instead chose to attach Gibeon because they had made peace with Israel.
Josua 10:8 – Notice that God doesn’t say “See, I told you not to make peace with any of them. See, no you are being drug into battle because of your alliance.” He could have easily left them on their own, since they acted on their own. No, God goes with them, in fact He goes ahead of them saying “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.”
Even if we go down an unwise path, without proper planning or consultation, God will remain with us there.
Joshua 10:11 – Not only did go ahead of them, he did the bulk of the work, killing more of the enemy himself by throwing down large stones than the Israelites did.
Joshua 10:12-13 – What I love about this story is not that God stopped the sun, although that’s incredible. No, what it more impressive tome is that Joshua asked for it. He could have asked for God to finish the battle, to send more stones or something. “He did not ask “God,we are tired and the day is nearly done, please bring the victory to completion.” No, he wanted time to finish what he started. He was not content with the job simply getting done, he wanted to finish the work.
I think I’m too content to ask God to change me rather than to ask God for the power to change. I want the change, but I want God to not only do the heavy lifting that I cannot do, but to do all the lifting. I need Him to change me, but I need to be ready to work for it too.

Joshua 9 – Saved Through Deceit

Joshua 9:1-3 – Most of the Kings of the region figure that perhaps they can stand up to Israel if the band together. But Gibeon instead hatches a bold and deceitful plan to make a treaty with Isreal. The implication is that either they did not get along with those nations or they knew that any plan that stands against the Lord is doomed to fail and figured this was their only hope. It would prove to be wise.
Joshua 9:14 – “but did not ask counsel from the Lord” I want to say, “Didn’t they learn anything from Ai?”, but then how many times do I rely on my own wisdom in important issues instead of counseling with the Lord? Many times and it’s bitten my more than once.
Joshua 9:16-21 – Once the lie was discovered,it would have been easy to revoke their promise to the Gibeons and destroy them and their towns. After all, God did command Israel to destroy all the towns, so letting them live would be to disobey God. However, they had given their word and to go back on it would also have been to go against God. The leaders took the courageous step of standing by their word even when it seemed to go against God and the people were displeased with their decision.
Joshua 9:24 – So, it was out of the fear of the Lord that they pursued this deceitful plan, they knew they could not stand against God. But, they were humble before Joshua. They made no demands, only said”Whatever seems good and right in your sight to do to us, do it.” And their fear of God ultimately saved them, although they were saved to a life of servant hood.

Joshua 8 – God’s Wrath

Joshua 8:1-2 – Now the Lord is sending them. The irony here, considering what happened to Achan, is that this time God gives them the plunder. The Lord will provide, in His time, we need only trust and wait.
Joshua 8:24-29 – While there is victory here for Israel, the fact is that 12,000 inhabitants of Ai perished. Sometimes it’s hard to understand what God was doing. I understand that these people stood against God and his ways and that God had decided to grant Israel favor, but it’s still hard to swallow.
These were the days of ‘God’s people’ and ‘everyone else’, Jews and Gentiles, although it wouldn’t be described that way for many years.The same is true today, of course, but then it was separated by the nations. Today, God’s people are everywhere in every nation, transcending borders and race. At that time, God was demonstrating who he was by His relationship with Israel and the favor they enjoyed. Today, that favor is on the church and His greatness is shown there and is available to all. He was also demonstrating his wrath against sin through his judgment on the peoples of Canaan, lets we forget that we serve not only a God of mercy but a God of judgment.
Anyone who says a loving God would surely not send people to Hell has either not read Joshua or doesn’t believe it.
Joshua 8:30-35 – An acknowledgment of why they enjoy the victories they do, it is not of themselves, it is of the Lord.

Joshua 7 – Sin and Judgement

Joshua 7:1-9 – Joshua’s reaction in verses 6-9 seems a little odd. I mean, they just saw the Jordan divided so that hey could pass through and Jericho fall with little effort on their part. God was with them, clearly, for they couldn’t do the things that they’d seen done. So why the wailing and even accusations of God not caring for them?
Well, look a little deeper behind their actions. At the Jordan and at Jericho, they were humble, following God’s plan to the letter. But we find that after God came through, one of them, Achan, went against God’s plan and took some of the things for himself. God’s ideas of care for them were no longer good enough for him, he took what did not belong to him. Also, notice how nonchalant they are about going against Ai. “It’ll be easy, only send a few thousand. No problem.” Also notice, no mention of how god wanted it done.
Flush from victory, a victory made absolutely and completely by God, they are suddenly confident in themselves. Never mind that there’s absolutely no way they can claim any sort of credit for what happened at Jericho – they marched and blew trumpets. Still, now they feel they can do whatever, and they march off to Ai on their own terms, and pay for it.
I do this. Confident that I know what God wants and in my abilities, I live on my own terms. I fail to study much, fail to pray much and generally skate along, convincing myself that I’m doing fine. I forget that I’ve never done fine, God has done fine – and far more – by me and through me, but only when I’ve submitted to His authority and plan. Skating along by what I believe to already know, doesn’t accomplish much. At best it keeps me out of big trouble, but even that isn’t guaranteed. Accomplishing anything for God? Living my life as an offering for what he’s already done in me? Hardly.
Joshua 7:10-12 – I love this rebuke from God. “Dude, what is your problem? Quit whining, somebody sinned, until it’s dealt with nothing’s going to work for you.” I need to remember this – when I’m in the situation above, I think I need to hang my head and mourn properly. God’s like, just deal with your sin, OK?
The scary part is the end of verse 12 – “I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.” So, am I willing to destroy those things in me that are devoted to destruction? Oh, Lord, make my sin as real and serious to me as it is to you.
Joshua 7:16-21 – I have to wonder, was Achan not aware that it was he they were looking for? Did he think that he would not be discovered? Why didn’t he step forward?
Joshua 7:22-26 – This is one of the hardest scenes in the Bible to imagine – especially the sons and daughters. My mind cries out against this, why the children too? I cannot defend God in this, but neither will I accuse him either. His ways are higher than mine and just because I cannot fathom the reasons, doesn’t mean they do not exist. In the very least, we can say that sin and disobedience is a serious thing and its effects go beyond ourselves, though we frequently cannot see it. My sin surely effects my children, a sobering thought indeed.

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