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Joshua 10

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, JAN 3

 SCRIPTURE: Joshua 10

BY: Joe Ligon

The news of the destruction of Ai and the unexpected treaty with Gibeon spread rapidly.  The king of Jerusalem which would have been about five miles south of Gibeon gathered up some help from some other kings in the area.  And together they sat out to destroy Gibeon.  Gibeon sent to Joshua for help.

It is a curious thing why Joshua decided to help the Gibeonites.  If he had not helped them and they had been destroyed, he would have been rid of the evidence of a bad deal he had made.  There is no reference in chapter nine that the treaty with Gibeon included a mutual defense clause which simply means that Israel was under no obligation to help.  Yet, Joshua seems to have made a pretty quick decision to head off to help the besieged people of Gibeon.

There are a couple of things that undoubtedly led to this decision.  The greater reason had to have been that God encouraged Joshua not to be afraid and promised to deliver those Canaanite armies to him.  God even promised that none of those armies would be able to stand before the army of Israel.  That was obviously a great motivation.  But the other reason may well have been that Joshua saw an opportunity to strike several armies at once which should have sped up his campaign to take all of the Promised Land.

Regardless of why it happened, it happened.  The army of Israel attacked before dawn and all the enemy armies fled in confusion.  Israel’s army was able to kill a bunch of the bad guys but then God got involved and killed even more with giant hailstones that he dropped on them from heaven.  You know it is a bad day when although you have escaped the sword you get killed with a hailstone.

Then a most amazing thing happened.  Joshua asked for the sun to stop and the moon to stop.  The reason he asked for this was so he could have additional daylight to defeat the rest of the enemy armies they were fighting. 

Of course this episode throws unbelievers into a tizzy.  They often point to the fact that it is not the sun and the moon that are moving but instead the earth is rotating.  That is a flimsy argument because even today we talk about the sunrise and the sunset.  The bigger deal is that God in all of His omnipotence slowed the rotation of the earth for an entire day.  God who spoke everything into existence still had and still has complete control over His creation.

Another interesting aspect of this sun and moon thing that you might not think about is the fact that the sun and the moon were considered gods by the Canaanites.  So this incredible miracle demonstrated the fact that the one, true God was much more powerful than the made up gods of those heathen.  We really do serve a mighty God!

One last thing for today… as you read through this chapter you might notice that Joshua and his army did not attack Jerusalem.  There is really not a reason given for this.  We just know it didn’t happen.  The result of this was the people of Jerusalem were a pain in the neck of Israel for a long time after that.  In fact, it was not until David was king that Jerusalem was defeated.  The lesson?  Finish what you start.  Regardless of how much success you may have had or how tired you might be: finish what you start.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Joshua 8

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, JANUARY 1

                                                    

SCRIPTURE: Joshua 8

AUTHOR:  Joe Ligon

 Happy New Y ear! 

After the horrific events of Joshua 7 not only for the nation of Israel but particularly for Achan and his family, the people of Israel may have been left in a bit of a worried quandary.  What was God going to do now?  Would He turn His back on Israel?  Would the Canaanites be allowed to conquer and enslave Israel?  What would God do at this point?

 The words of the first verse of this chapter must have been a most welcomed relief.  God told them not to be afraid nor discouraged.  Then he begins to lay out for Joshua the battle plan for Ai. 

 It is interesting that in the conquest of Ai God would allow the people of Israel to take livestock and anything of value once the battle was over.  Had Achan only had the patience to wait upon the Lord, he could have had great wealth from Ai.  Instead in his impatience, he was executed for taking what he was told not to take.

 There is undoubtedly a great lesson here for all of us.  It is very easy for us to become impatient.  It is very easy for us to run ahead of the Lord and take matters into our own hands.  But it is always better to be patient.  It is always better to wait upon the Lord and let Him do what He alone can do.  And then we can enjoy the blessings of obedience.

 The battle plan was executed just as God dictated.  The victory was complete.  Ai was wiped out.

 

Then Joshua did a most interesting thing.  Instead of marching on to the next battle, he led the nation about 30 miles north to a place where Mount Ebal was on one side and Mount Gerizim was on the other. 

 The first thing they did there was erect an altar of uncut stones and offer sacrifices and peace offerings.  The NIV refers to these as fellowship offerings. This is not a discrepancy.  When we are at peace with God we are in fellowship with Him.  When we are not at peace with God, our relationship with Him is always hindered.  So the peace offering was made to strengthen the relationship.

 The second thing that happened is some large stones were set up and Joshua wrote on them.  The Bible says he wrote the Law of Moses on those stones.  It is unclear what this exactly consisted of.  Some believe it was just the Ten Commandments.  Others believe it was at least Deuteronomy 5-26.  Since part of what Joshua wrote contained “curses” and “blessings”, it seems like it had to have been more than just the Ten Commandments.  But we really don’t know.

 What we do know is that after the people watched Joshua write on those stones, he read what he wrote.  In Deuteronomy when Moses did something very similar, the people on one side responded with an “amen” to each of the curses and the people on the other side responded with an “amen” to each of the blessings. 

 Since the word “amen” simply means “it is true” or “so be it”, the people were just acknowledging the fact that God’s Word does contain the truth of His judgment on sin as well as His salvation from sin.  Both are true.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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