Total conquest

sword-790815_640Joshua 11:21: And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. (ESV)

Joshua moved with swiftness and the nations were falling before him in packs. It was the Promised Land, the people were prepared, they had a charge from God, and there was no going back. They moved forward by the word of God. They did not allow fear to hold them back. They had no other option but to follow the word of God, to move forward and take the Promised Land, there was no going back, no backing down.

Their history was a big lesson on why not to reject the word of God. After about two years that God after coming from Egypt, God wanted them to start taking over the land. But after twelve spies were sent to bring a report of the Promised Land, and ten brought an evil report, Israel chose to agree with the evil report of the fearful spies and chose to rebel against the will of God (Numbers 13-14).

God wanted them to go into the Promised Land in fulfilment of his word to their father Abraham, but they had other ideas.

Eventually, the promise of God will come to pass but in another generation. God decided that set of people would not follow God willingly, he was going to allow them to pine away in the wilderness as they wander and die there.

And the children who are under twenty years at that time eventually inherited the Promised Land. Those who rejected the word of God wasted away in the wilderness.

The wilderness represents the place of limitation, and that generation allowed their latent fear to limit their vision and motion, and they died not fulfilling their ultimate potential.

But the Joshua generation was ready. They were not suffering from slavery hangover, not suffering from the fear of the unknown, they were in awe of the word of God knowing what happened to those who chose a different path than the one God outlines.

They refused to consider their own limitation, fully believing that since God was with them, no one can be against them. They stood firm in the face of opposition. They did not consider their lack of experience, their limited preparedness.

They had their eyes on the word of God and following the leadership of Joshua they piled victory upon victory. The fear of them filled the heart of the people all around. After they parted the river Jordan to move into the Promised Land, the people knew that this group of Israelites were unique, they had the power of God backing them up.

To mount a formidable resistance against them, their opposition set out to hire those who will curse them or they combine themselves together or shut the walls of the city against them, but in the end, Israel gained total conquest because they exhibited total trust in God.

They pressed on regardless of the size and ferocity of the opposition. They believed that greater is the one who is with him than he who is with their enemies. Their God has no limitation. Our God has no limitation. The bible says that in the beginning God created the heaven on the earth (Genesis 1:1-3). That gives the picture of the kind of God that we are talking about, not one limited in power, by time or in wisdom; and because of that he is able to give total conquest.

Limitless power

The children of Israel would not have the hope of having total conquest if they did not depend on the power of God.

But in the conquering of the land of Ai, the bible noted that they did not ask God to lead them, and seeing the town as smaller than Jericho which they recently conquered, Joshua sent a few men there (Joshua 7).

The result was damning! They were routed before the enemy, and were later told that they were defeated because God withdrew himself from the nation of Israel, because in the conquest of Jericho, someone committed a sin, against to God’s instruction.

Victory for them was not by military might but by the power of God. This was brought poignantly home in a story of the battle of the children of Israel against a certain enemy nation where Moses was asked to lift up a staff. When his hand grew weak and it fell down, and his hand was up they were winning (Exodus 17:1-14). The rod of Moses represented the power of God, and in that we see how what is done in secret impacts on what happens in the public. Jesus said that when we pray in secret, God will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6).

Not limited by time

Just as God is not limited in ability, he is not limited in time. Peter said it this way: a day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day (2Peter 3:8). He created time. When God chose to become man, he chose to be limited by time and space, or maybe not. He told Nathanael that already knew him even though they had not met before.

Not limited in wisdom

The whole world runs on the wisdom of God. The changing season, the rotation of the earth, the balance of the gases in the atmosphere, the changing weather, the rising and falling of the sun, all manifest the wisdom of God. The bible says that the heaven declares the glory of the Lord (Psalm 19). The created are the handiwork of God and they manifest his wisdom.

Conclusion

The Joshua generation mostly kept in step with God. The connected with all powerful God, they were able to overcome the opposition, no matter how big and how subtle.

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