Read Joshua 11 -- 13
In Today's Reading:
What thrilling chapters. See how the Mighty God we serve protects His people who are obedient to Him. As the Canaanite kings mobilize their armies and a vast array of horses and chariots cover the land, the Lord said to Joshua: Be not afraid . . . to morrow will I deliver them up all slain before Israel . . . (Joshua 11:6). Chapter 11 reveals the secret of how Joshua conquered Canaan: Joshua left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded (11:15). What a list of defeated kings!
Verse for Today:
And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord commanded (Joshua 11:12).
Conquest of the northern kings; obedience of Joshua; roll call of kings conquered by Moses and Joshua; Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh settle on the east side of the Jordan River.
Long before the Israelites entered Canaan, back when Abraham had journeyed through the land, God declared: The iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full (ready for judgment) (Genesis 15:16). Later, Moses reminded the people: Because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God drives them out (Deuteronomy 9:5; 18:10-12). The time had come for Canaan to be judged for its sins.
Everyone in Canaan knew about the miraculous release of Israel from Egypt, the defeat of all the kings on the east side of the Jordan River, the collapse of Jericho, and the destruction of Ai. The One True God is a God of love Who is longsuffering . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Rahab had accepted the Lord by faith as she confessed to the two Israelite spies: The Lord your God, He is God in Heaven above, and in earth (Joshua 2:11). Of all the people in Jericho, only Rahab was willing to reject the false gods and commit her life to the One True God of the Hebrews. Although she was a Gentile, she trusted her life to Him and was not only saved from destruction along with her family but was included in the genealogy of Jesus, becoming the great-great grandmother of King David (Ruth 4:21-22; Matthew 1:5; Luke 3:32; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25).
There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon (Joshua 11:19).
After the Israelites had slain the five kings who had attacked the Gibeonites, news of Joshua's remarkable victories quickly spread throughout Canaan. Jabin, King of Hazor in the north, enlisted kings and their soldiers from far into the north and as far east as Damascus in Syria, as far south as the Dead Sea, and as far west as Zidon (modern-day Lebanon), the capital of Phoenicia on the Mediterranean Sea. And Israel smote them until none were left alive (see 11:8).
Joshua established military control over the Promised Land without one horse or chariot. But the individual tribes were to complete the conquest of the Canaanites within their assigned territories.
Taking possession of their allotted territory has great spiritual significance for all of us. Jesus, our Joshua, has conquered sin, Satan, and death. But each has our own "territory" to possess. We are faced with giant enemies of bitterness, resentment, jealousy, hatred, and lust. These enemies are often deeply embedded in our hearts, despite the clear teaching of God's Word concerning these evils. The peace that we desire will never be experienced until our "giant enemies" are replaced with love and forgiveness, for if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14).
A Thought from Proverbs: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkens to counsel is wise (12:15).
By Moses, the servant of the Lord (Joshua 12:6). Jesus was the Servant of God (Matthew 12:18).
11:9 houghed = hamstrung, crippled; 11:13 in their strength = on their fortified hills; 12:3 Chinneroth = Sea of Galilee; Salt Sea = Dead Sea; 12:4 coast = territory borders; 13:22 soothsayer = fortune-teller.
Government Official: Rep. Cynthia McKinney (GA) · Pray for the missionary ministries · Country: Uzbekistan (24 million) central Asia · Major languages: Uzbek and Russian · Limited religious freedom due to Islamic influence · 68% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox; .5% Protestant/Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice in the Lord, for He is forgiving to those who call upon Him (Psalms 86:4-5).
Optional Reading: John 8
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:15