Following on in our series of blog posts of The Story comes another chapter and definitely one of the most violent yet. Moses is now dead and it is time for a new leader to step up, one with his own goals but remains with the same Godly heart of his predecessor. So who will it be? Who will be the next commander that is taken under the wing of the one supreme Admiral? The one who will finish the journey to the much awaited Promised Land? Let’s find out!
I think we all know that feeling when we try to follow in the steps of someone greater that came before. For those who know what I am talking about they would be able to understand the extreme pressure and high hopes that lay before them. Sometimes in these situations we crack and fall, sport is a huge example of this. Many a sportsman have dared to face the challenge and ultimately end up broken. But more importantly there are those great few that rise up, and stare this sickening pressure right in the eye, a beat it. One such person is a man named Joshua, the son of Nun.
So we come to this point where Moses has passed on and God comes to Joshua saying that through him he is going to take the currently occupied Promised Land. What is most surprising is how Joshua reacts.
Unlike Sarah, the wife of Abraham who laughed when she was told that many people (more than the stars in the sky) would come from her old withered body Joshua, having seen the miracles that Moses performed seemed unfazed by this bombshell. After all, there were already many powerful kingdoms that were a part of the Promised Land but the utter belief that Joshua had that he would concur it is an example for all of us. So with that, Let the Battles Begin!
First match up – The Israelites vs Jericho. The first battle was not the easiest, Jericho was a heavily guarded city and also had a huge wall protecting it. So how would they get in? Spies. Joshua sent two inside to inspect the city and thanks to an effort from Rahab, a prostitute from the city the two men escaped unharmed. But now that they had the information, how were they going to get in? God instructed Joshua to march around the walls with seven priests holding trumpets and all the armed men to shout when a long blast of trumpets sounded on the seventh day. The perseverance of the Israelites prevails and the walls crumble. The city’s inhabitancies are killed, all except Rahab and her family. The Israelites plunder.
Next up - The Israelites vs Ai. It was a blood slaughter by Gods people with 12’000 men and woman being killed from Ai. After this Joshua read every word in the Book of the Law. This gave him huge amounts of wisdom which with God was something more valuable than even his sharpest sword.
Thirdly – The Israelites vs Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. This was the biggest matchup yet and could have been avoided if Joshua, rather than going about his own thinking and signing a treaty with Gibeon, asked and consulted God first. But even then God gave him victory and each of the five kings were put to death and then their remains hung on a pole near a cave.
Second to last – The Israelites vs Makkedah. Here Joshua and his army did the same, putting the king to death and plundering the city of riches. Through Gods power they took over the entire region but one still remained, the best of the best.
The final - The Israelites vs Hazor and all its neighbouring kingdoms. This was the biggest and strongest of them all, what’s more Hazor also rallied its neighbours to take the Israelites down. Yet God still pulled them though and they gained everything.
There are many lessons to be taken away from such a chapter, but the biggest and most important is the belief in God. Joshua and the Israelites had everything thrown at them, they were constantly jumping over obstacles in order to reach their goal. In the end they only reached it because they reached it with God.
Let’s bring it back to us. We all have our own obstacles, maybe not battling more than twelve kingdoms. But instead something as simple as keeping your head above water with your school work, achieving a sporting or musical goal, or even just doing your chores. Whatever it is, if you do it with God I guarantee it will be a lot easier.
Here are a few questions for the week. I encourage you to think over them or better yet, write them down…
Ø What areas of my life have I excluded God from?
Ø What is the first thing I do when I either have to make a decision or come across an obstacle?
Ø Should I be making these decisions with God?
Ø What opportunities do I have to step up and become a leader?
Ø Am I letting God into all or just part of my life?
Now here are a few things to pray for…
Ø Pray to God when making a decision, ask Him about it.
Ø Ask God to be with you during the many obstacles in your life.
Ø Ask God for courage and wisdom to lead.
- Seb M