As we read through Joshua 10,
it's as if the Israelites have found their rhythm.
For starting in verse 28, Joshua leads them
from city, after city,
and in victory, after victory
it would seem in a matter of days.
God is certainly on the move.
And Joshua did... as he had done to the king of Jericho,
and he leaves each place utterly destroyed.
First the Southern kingdoms, and then the Northern...
they heard of this move of God and united to attack.
But God had other plans.
So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings,
Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword.
He utterly destroyed them...
As the Lord had commanded Moses his servant,
so Moses commanded Joshua,
and so Joshua did.
He left nothing undone
of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.
Joshua 11:12, 15 NKJV
And often today, we read this and think it so harsh.
Like, why was it so necessary to utterly destroy them...
the women, the children.
When no one took the time to get to know them;
to even see if they were good people, or bad people.
But that's exactly why God gave the command.
Because he did not want his children to make that determination.
It was not up to them.
God had already determined that these were the idol worshipping sort...
kingdoms that, if His children spend time getting to know,
would cause them to compromise and certainly lead them away from Him.
And Joshua had spent many years as an assistant to Moses.
He must have listened and learned a great deal...
just sitting near him in that Tent of Meeting with the Lord.
Joshua knew the commandments of the Lord were to be followed...
strictly, exactly, and quickly.
Joshua watched as Moses came down from a 40 day fast on the mountain,
to find the people partying and worshiping a golden calf they had fashioned
when he took too long with the Lord.
He saw how this caused three thousand men to die that day
and how Moses grieved and begged the Lord for their forgiveness.
Joshua watched as these people feared the news of the spies...
feared fighting for their great promise,
and were then punished, wandering and perishing in a wilderness...
only to repent and rely upon Moses to plead once more to the Lord.
And Joshua watched as the people were seduced by the women of Moab
when invited to the sacrifices before their gods,
only to be saved from a plague by the quick but deadly action of Phinehas...
after 24,000 lost their lives.
So when we see Joshua as obedient, as quick to follow God's commands...
to utterly destroy, even when it seems so violent and ungodly to us,
he was the one prepared by God for this purpose.
Because all the consequences he witnessed when the people were not obedient.
And all the faithfulness he witnessed when Moses was obedient.
And he had learned... to trust God fully.
Even when he did not know what was on the other side of the command.
No matter where God was sending Joshua...
I too long to trust God fully.
And I am grateful that my purpose is not to utterly destroy.
But that does not mean battle lines won't be drawn.
Mine may not be physical, in the sense that I wield a sword and shield.
But I do battle each day...
with my selfishness,
my willingness to put others first,
We all face battles.
And our God is the same today... still asking that we trust Him.
That we listen to Him and let Him lead us to victory.
For we too have an enemy that would love to defeat us...
for us to take the easy way out
and live the life of compromise.
But God longs for us to win our battles
and to live a life of rest.
Word of God... train me, today...
to be obedient, faithful and trustworthy like Joshua,
to be brave and courageous when I need You in the battle.
Lord, thank You for Joshua.
What an awesome warrior he was.
Help me to ask less questions
and show more obedience.
Lead and guide me
in the way I should go.
Deliver me from my enemies...
especially those thoughts and attitudes
that hold me captive.
I long to conquer the whole land...
according to all that You have to give me
as an inheritance.
I long to rest from war.
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