The Victory side of life #11
Overcoming Huge Obstacles - By Gerald Van Horn
These verses tell of the longest day in history. I have always been fascinated by these verses of Scripture. There is in its context a great message of miracles and victory. Boot camp is over. Great opposition awaits Israel. They are greatly outnumbered.
The reputation of Joshua and Israel had gone throughout the land. The inhabitants were moved by fear to join forces and defeat Israel. Chapter 10:5 names five of them. Both chapters 10 and 11 name several other tribes that Joshua fought against. These all combined made the conquer of Ai and Jericho look like a church cakewalk.
God has given us great weapons to fight the enemy. If we do not use them it’s like having a Mercedes Benz in the garage and never driving it. The New Testament directs us to five gifts or helps that God has bestowed upon His church. Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
1. The objective.
Joshua was instructed to destroy all the inhabitants in Canaan. However He must first deal with the five kings first. By now surely Israel was exhausted with all the fighting going on. The enemy never lets up. We must also deal with the enemies of our soul. Paul mentions them in Ephesians 17-19. Vanity of mind. v.17, Understanding darkened. v.18, past feelings, v. 19, lasciviousness, v.19 and greediness. v. 19. These all are formable foes but God has provided His son, Jesus Christ, to lift us up above the old manner of life to put on the new man which God has created in righteousness and true holiness.
Just as Joshua and Israel’s goal was to conquer the land so the New Testament Christian’s goal is to be more like Jesus. Every challenge that comes our way is shaping us into the image of Christ. We are like the potter with the clay. The hand of the Lord molds us and makes us what we ought to be.
2. The miracle.
First came the hail storm upon the enemy in Azekah. More died by the hailstorm than what Israel slew with the sword. v.11. God very seldom intervenes in the lives of humanity but when He does it is a mighty move. We see the creator exercising power over the creation. Joshua utters a 14 word prayer.v.12 There came a swift answer. The sun and the moon stood still for a whole day.
Faith must have been involved. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
There was no day like that before or after it. v.14. The bottom line the Lord fought for Israel. God did turn the solar system back 10 degrees for Hezekiah. 2 Kings 20:9-11.
Jesus exhibited His power over nature:
Matthew 8:26 Jesus rebukes the wind and waves.
Matthew 21:18-22 Jesus cursed the fig tree.
Mark 6:49-52 Jesus walks on the sea.
Luke 8:4-7 catching the draught of fish.
John 2:1-10 Jesus turns water into wine.
3. The results.
The wonderful promise given to Israel through Joshua “fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage; for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” V.25 All the victories that Israel won are they not listed in Joshua chapter 10,11 & 12. Then the land rested from war. 11:23.
Jesus, our Joshua, has conquered and destroyed all our enemies when He hung on the cross. The cross is the turning point in history. The child of God has three enemies; the Devil, he is a defeated foe, the world, Jesus said, I have overcome the world,” the self-life or the flesh. We are not to live after the flesh but after the Spirit. Romans 8:37 “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
I Peter 1:9 (we are redeemed)”But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
I Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare in his body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins should live unto righteousness by whose stripe we were healed.”
I Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
I Peter 2:9-10 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that we should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light which in times past were not a people of God, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
There is nothing, no circumstance,no trouble, no testing, that can ever touch you until first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ, right through to you. If it comes that far it has come with great purpose which you may not understand at the moment. But if you will refuse to panick, and keep your eyes on Jesus and accept it as coming from the throne room of God or through His permissive will for some great and glorious purpose. A blessing in your life. Then. nothing can disarm you, no circumstances will cause you to fret. So, rest in the joy of the Lord. That is your personal a real victory