Joshua 23-Joshua Begins His Exit Strategy

All Good things must end.  Joshua and his family had enjoyed a long time of peace. God protected Israel, just as He had promised and now Joshua was very old and getting ready to die. Knowing the end was near, Joshua summoned the entire nation–leaders and all. He then took the time to remind all of them what the Lord had provided. He also encouraged Israel.  Joshua told them that as God had driven out their enemies to this point; He would continue to do so in the days ahead.Joshua reminded Israel that God drove out mighty nations before them, and that 1 Israelite soldier accounted for 1000 of the enemy–real superhero stuff.

Joshua then began the reminder of the importance of keeping covenant with God.  Specifically, do not make treaties and deals with the remaining locals.  Do not cohabit with them or worship their gods.  It is so easy to be distracted by the stuff around you, and God knew–as did Joshua, that foreign gods always seemed easier; because, they were hand-crafted, easy to touch, and easy to control. 

Then and now, God wants His folks to remain committed to Him, and focused on what is real, not what is easy.  He has given us so much and required so little in return.  At the end of the day, the Lord only asks that we trust and follow Him. God asks, however, as He did with Israel, that we worship Him and Him alone. The Lord protects, prepares, and provides for us and simply asks that we live lives that honor His gift and leadership.  Make no mistake, God understands it is a difficult choice.  If we will follow, however, He will continue to go ahead of us against our enemies.  In that promise, God has never failed. God Bless You


After a long time had passed and the Lord had given Israel rest from all their enemies around them, Joshua, by then a very old man, summoned all Israel—their elders, leaders, judges and officials—and said to them: “I am very old. You yourselves have seen everything the Lord your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the Lord your God who fought for you. Remember how I have allotted as an inheritance for your tribes all the land of the nations that remain—the nations I conquered—between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. The Lord your God himself will push them out for your sake. He will drive them out before you, and you will take possession of their land, as the Lord your God promised you.

“Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, as you have until now. “The Lord has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. 10 One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. 11 So be very careful to love the Lord your God.

Joshua 11 Part 1–He Will Do It

It is quite a contrast.  When you look at the trajectory of the Canaanite kings and compare it to the trajectory of Joshua and Israel.  Joshua sought God and His leadership.  The Canaanite kings sought alliances and means to gang up on and ambush Israel.  As is typically the case, the kings gathered in mass and showed their might. Meanwhile, Joshua listened to the Lord and did what God said and watched God do the heavy lifting.  

When one thinks about it, Israel did not have to act as infiltrators and oppressors, they simply had to show up and the enemy came to them.  God knew these peoples were evil and would at some point seek to destroy Israel.  So, God allowed the kings to show their true hearts.  When exposed, it was apparent that cohabitation in Israel would be impossible. 

So, Israel completely wiped them out.  They took the land without fear of a later uprising.  God’s power and protection was so apparent that no one would dare challenge Israel.  What is more, even if they did, God made sure that that nation was destroyed, and their fate known to any would be challenger.

Like Israel, we must be faithful, trusting, and willing to submit to God’s plan.  Like Joshua, Seeking God must be the first thing, never an afterthought. If we as His chosen will live that kind of life, then, we will also enjoy that kind of victory.  It must be clear that such a journey is not free of battle, hardship, or trial.  We are confident, however, that He who calls us is faithful and He will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24. I hope each of us will face the day with the wisdom and confidence of Joshua!

God Bless You


When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Akshaph, and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west; to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah. They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots—a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.”

So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left. Joshua did to them as the Lord had directed: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.

10 At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword. (Hazor had been the head of all these kingdoms.) 11 Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed[a] them, not sparing anyone that breathed, and he burned Hazor itself.

Joshua 10 Part 2–Obedience and Victory

God knew what He was doing.  As Israel continued to seek Him, He was able to lead them to victory after victory.  What could have taken months to complete God was able to finish in a very short time.  The five kings that reigned in the south decided to show Israel who was boss–and they did.  They made clear, as they sat hiding in a cave while their armies were being destroyed, that God was boss, and Israel was the nation that God had raised them to be.Israel simply honored God’s commands and did what God told them to do.  The result was victory after victory.

Make no mistake, to achieve those victories, Israel was in battle after battle.  Men died; cities were wiped out–it was a difficult journey.  The claiming of their inheritance came to Israel at a great price. But the comfort comes from the truth that they fought those battles with God leading Joshua, God protecting the nation, and God providing victory.

Such is our journey. If we allow God to lead, He will do so with a glad heart.  We will see amazing victories.  But we cannot forget that our journey is still war. Our victory will also come at a great price, and we will see that it is God’s leadership and grace that will carry us through.  We cannot be afraid to face the battle.  We cannot be afraid to honor God in all that we do.  If we will do so, then God will lead us to a victory that we can be proud of.

God Bless You


20 So Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely, but a few survivors managed to reach their fortified cities. 21 The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites.

22 Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me.” 23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. 24 When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.

25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” 26 Then Joshua put the kings to death and exposed their bodies on five poles, and they were left hanging on the poles until evening.

27 At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the poles and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day…

40 So, Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills, and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua subdued them from Kadesh Barnea to Gaza and from the whole region of Goshen to Gibeon. 42 All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.

43 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

I Samuel 17 part 1–The Giant is Real and Large

Israel had a very real problem.  They had an enemy with a champion that was almost 10 feet tall. That champion wore armor that was heavier than most in the Israelite army.  That giant wanted to fight any soldier from Israel winner take all. From Israel’s perspective, there was little to win and everything to lose.  Anyone looking at what the army faced, they had a very real problem.  It was not only sheer fear that kept the volunteers from lining up, it was the thought of a failure leading to the capture of the entire army.  From Saul down everyone understood the size of the giant and the implications of failure.

In our lives, we also face giants.  Whether spiritual, emotional, financial or professional, those giants are most times very real and very large.  When facing them, we, like the Israelite army not only analyze the problem personally—but also we look at the effect it has on those we care about and care for. What we see, though is that through our eyes, many of the giants we face are simply too big and too powerful for us to face.  BUT, from the Lord God’s perspective, they are nothing.  As we face each day and each giant, we have to walk by faith and believe that GOD not us is charged with facing the giants.  He alone will met and defeat them no matter how real or large they are.  Sadly, it takes patience and faith to meet the giants and face them—but, as we will see, doing so can change the world.

God Bless You

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.