Monthly Archives: September 2015

Christian Faith: Joshua 11

Christian Faith Article 1

Joshua 11

Ben Hartnett

One of my favorite books in the Old Testament is Joshua. The book is about victory and conquest. It amazes me how God worked through the authors of each book to communicate His will and His love. I am now writing articles again. This is my 1st Christian Faith article since 2012! Each article will cover a chapter or two from the Bible. Sometimes it will be from the Old Testament and sometimes from the New Testament. This week we will be focusing on Joshua. An article will be released daily! These articles are from my personal Bible reading and studying I do early in the morning. Yes, I am an early riser and morning person. I find that having a nice hot cup of black coffee with my Bible is the best time to draw closer to Jesus! Now let’s get started on Joshua 11.

The book of Joshua is a book about victory and conquest (as stated above). You see, God called a special man named Abram (you can find this story in Genesis). Later, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham which means “father of a multitude”. This is exactly what it means. Why? Because Abraham would be the father of a nation! It was God’s covenant with Him. Israel came from the seed of Abraham. Later on, the Israelites became enslaved in Egypt under a nasty Pharaoh and God delivered the Israelites. This shows that God loves and pursues us even when we are rebellious. However, the Israelites kept following false gods and implemented syncretism. This is the means of blending other religious philosophies with another religion. This is exactly what the Israelites did. Now, even with all of this disobedience from Israel, God promises the Israelites an inheritance. This is known as the promise land. Canaan.

So, open your Bible and find Joshua 11. Joshua was leading Israel on a victorious conquest to take over the land of Canaan.  This chapter is about war in the north. The threat was Jabin king of Hazor. His main goal was to stop Joshua and his conquest. He wanted to stop the army of Israel. There was alarm with the northern kings of Canaan with all of Joshua’s success in the south as well. The goal of Jabin was to attack the Israelites in Gibeon by joining forces with the southern armies. Here we can now see that God in all of his omnipotence (God holding all power over creation) intervened on Jabin’s move as God did this through restraint. Thus, Canaanite armies grew bigger. This created stress for Joshua as they had a lot against them.

Now, most of the armies were staged at the Waters of Merom. This most likely was the strategic attack on Joshua that was planned. This plan would include moving down the Jordan Valley. Now, Joshua had a plan. He decided to find the battle rather than wait for it. This was a five day journey. God wanted Joshua to know that he should not afraid because of God’s promises. This required faith from Joshua. He had to believe that God would give victory through His almighty power. Can you think of how much faith that would take? Especially with a huge threat awaiting Joshua. God instructed Joshua to burn their chariots and cut the tendons (leg tendons) of the enemies’ horses.  Finally, there was success! There was victory! God’s unchanging promises were realized. The horses were defeated and the chariots burned. Also, cities were seized and kings defeated.

You are probably wondering why God would instruct such nasty violence. First, it must be noted that the horses were used for pagan worship. There was also concern that Israel would trust in weapons over the Lord. Though this is a synopsis of Joshua 11. More could be given. But, the point of these articles is to be simplistic and easy to understand. I believe Joshua 11 shows us how we can trust God for victory in our lives. His promises never change. Another lesson I think can be drawn out of Joshua 11 is faith. We need to learn to trust God more than we trust ourselves. We can see God’s providential control in this chapter as well. Always trust God.

My next article will be about the Jordan River, Canaan, and Joshua. Thank you for reading this article. I am confident you learned something!


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