Category Archives: Joshua

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Joshua 11:6

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow, I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain.  You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” NIV

I found this verse a few days ago by typing “worry” into Bible  It has taken me a few days to get comfortable with the concepts expressed in this verse.  Comfortable might be an overstatement.  I can’t honestly say that I’m actually comfortable with them, but I am not as offended by them as I was when I first found them, and, I think I am beginning to see the wisdom here.

Joshua has led the people into the promised land after 40 years spent in the dessert as punishment for not trusting God and obeying His commands.

In this verse, Joshua and the people are about to face the armies of the Northern Kingdom, an army of great size.  Verse 4 says they were “in number like sand on an ocean beach — to say nothing of all the horses and chariots.” MSG

Joshua trusts God.  He has seen the miracles that God worked first hand as the people fled Egypt.  He encouraged Moses and the people originally to enter the promised land.

Joshua is also an obedient servant.  God tells him not to worry, that the battle already has been won, and that by the next day all of the innumerable warriors will be dead.  Joshua believes this and leads his army into battle against the larger force and takes the opposition by surprise, and there were no survivors.

It might have been tempting at that point to say, “We’ve won!  Let’s all go home.”

But, God left instructions.  Joshua was to cripple all of the horses and burn the chariots.

I’ve spent a couple of days thinking about those poor horses.  It is not in my nature to harm things, and, I think that it would have been very hard for me to do what God told Joshua to do.

But, as I thought more about it, I realized that the availability of all of those horses and chariots would likely have changed things for Israel.

First, if they had the trappings of a powerful army, they might believe that they were a powerful army and cease to trust in God, from whom their power emanated.  Second, if they had a bunch of gorgeous horses and chariots, other armies might have attacked them to gain that property.  I can’t think of a third thing that might have happened, but, I’m confident that the destruction of the horses and the chariots was important.

I also think that the fact that Joshua obeyed God, even in the case of an extremely unpleasant task, is an important example for us today.  Not everything we are called to do will be fun and gratifying … some of what we must do while we are here is just hard work that goes against our nature.

I need to think more about what I can learn from Joshua’s example.  I was pondering these verses as I sat through the sermon this morning.  The speaker talked about spiritual warfare, and how sometimes we as Christians are sometimes blind to what is really happening.

I’m pretty sure these concepts are tied together, but, I don’t have all of it worked out yet.  Perhaps I am not meant to figure it out.  I do know, that just as this verse says, I don’t have to worry … God already has won the battle.

That’s what I’m thinking about today.

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Filed under Joshua, Old Testament, Worry

Joshua 10:25

Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Be strong and courageous.  This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” NIV

I’ve heard it said that if you are trying to teach something, listen for your own words coming back to you from the learner.  When you start to hear back from them the things that you’ve been saying to them, you can have some level of confidence that the lesson has been assimilated.

That’s what I think is interesting about these verses that I’ve been looking at over the last week or so.

God repetitively gives this message to the Israelites.  Moses assimilates it, and repeats it to Joshua, but, Moses dies before Joshua leads the people into the promised land.

God then gives this message to Joshua, and now, Joshua is delivering the message to the people, “Don’t hold back.  Don’t be timid.  Be strong!  Be confident!” MSG

What a great message for today!

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Filed under Fear, Joshua, Old Testament

Joshua 10:8

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand.  Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” NIV

Wow.  I just read the story that surrounds these verses.

Joshua had completely defeated Ai, which wholly stressed out the other kings in the area, including the king of Jerusalem.  Joshua and the Israelites had made a treaty of peace with the people of Gibeon, who were living near them.  The king of Jerusalem gets four other kings to join him with their armies, and they all set off to attack Gibeon, which was, apparently, a pretty important city.  The king of Jerusalem was mad that Joshua had made peace with a city of such import.

So, they all march off to attack Gibeon, and, the Gibeonites appeal to their neighbor Joshua for help.

This is where the verse comes in.  God tells Joshua not to worry about all these armies, because not one of them will withstand the attack of the Israelites.  Sure enough, they don’t, and along the way, Joshua suggests to God that he will need more daylight to accomplish the task, and God stops the sun for him.  Verse 13 says, “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.”  The power of God!

Joshua boldly took hold of the promises made to him by God, and look how successful he was!

I will think about that today.

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Joshua 8:1

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Take the whole army with you and go up and attack Ai.  For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.” NIV

This is a powerful reminder not to worry.  God tells Joshua to take hold of the promises that were made to Moses and to Abraham, and to recognize that God is on the side of the Israelites and that the battle, which has not yet begun, has already been won.

The Message translates the first part of this verse, “Don’t be timid and don’t so much as hesitate.”

That’s powerful, too.

I don’t want to be a timid, hesitant believer.  I want to be one who takes hold of God’s promises and walks boldly into the future that He has planned for me.

I will think about that today.

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Filed under Fear, Joshua, Old Testament