Joshua 12–Just How Big a Victory Was It?

There is no doubt that in the entire history of the biblical times, no leader has seen more sucess and a better illustration of obedience leading to victory than did Joshua.  But, the initial reporting of the victory was relatively vague.  God simply refused to leave it as vague. 

So, chapter 12 gives us a clear picture of the enormity of the victory Israel won in their clearing of Canaan.  The reality was that this group of freed slaves defeated a total of 31 kings in 5 years and not only defeated them but wiped them out.  They laid waste to 31 kingdoms gathering the plunder from all but two.  They lost very few people, they kept no slaves, and they now possessed, without interruption, the land of Canaan. God knew the strategy and minds of each of the 31 kings that were defeated.  He was efficient, thorough, and decisive. He preceded the troops; He protected the troops and He caused chaos and fear to infiltrate the enemy.  The deck was rigged to assure certain victory for God’s chosen. 

Amazingly, the deck is rigged for His chosen today, as well.  We know that upon Christ’s return, He will emerge victorious; and, those that follow him now will be similarly situated to those that followed Him through Canaan.  We do not have to be the best, the brightest, or the strongest–we simply must trust, follow, and allow the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent Creator and Lord–lead, guide and direct our path.  That will lead to certain victory and eternal life.  In my mind, you cannot ask for much more than that!

God Bless You


These are the kings east of the Jordan River who had been killed by the Israelites and whose land was taken. Their territory extended from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon and included all the land east of the Jordan Valley.[a]

King Sihon of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, was defeated. His kingdom included Aroer, on the edge of the Arnon Gorge, and extended from the middle of the Arnon Gorge to the Jabbok River, which serves as a border for the Ammonites. This territory included the southern half of the territory of Gilead. Sihon also controlled the Jordan Valley and regions to the east—from as far north as the Sea of Galilee to as far south as the Dead Sea,[b] including the road to Beth-jeshimoth and southward to the slopes of Pisgah.

King Og of Bashan, the last of the Rephaites, lived at Ashtaroth and Edrei. He ruled a territory stretching from Mount Hermon to Salecah in the north and to all of Bashan in the east, and westward to the borders of the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah. This territory included the northern half of Gilead, as far as the boundary of King Sihon of Heshbon.

Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the Israelites had destroyed the people of King Sihon and King Og. And Moses gave their land as a possession to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Kings Defeated West of the Jordan

The following is a list of the kings that Joshua and the Israelite armies defeated on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir. (Joshua gave this land to the tribes of Israel as their possession, including the hill country, the western foothills,[c] the Jordan Valley, the mountain slopes, the Judean wilderness, and the Negev. The people who lived in this region were the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.) These are the kings Israel defeated:

The king of Jericho
The king of Ai, near Bethel
10 The king of Jerusalem
The king of Hebron
11 The king of Jarmuth
The king of Lachish
12 The king of Eglon
The king of Gezer
13 The king of Debir
The king of Geder
14 The king of Hormah
The king of Arad
15 The king of Libnah
The king of Adullam
16 The king of Makkedah
The king of Bethel
17 The king of Tappuah
The king of Hepher
18 The king of Aphek
The king of Lasharon
19 The king of Madon
The king of Hazor
20 The king of Shimron-meron
The king of Acshaph
21 The king of Taanach
The king of Megiddo
22 The king of Kedesh
The king of Jokneam in Carmel
23 The king of Dor in the town of Naphoth-dor[d]
The king of Goyim in Gilgal[e]
24 The king of Tirzah.

Joshua 5 Part 2–The Adventure Begins

It must have been odd to see the world change before them.  Joshua had marched behind a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night for 40 years.  Now that they had crossed the Jordan and sat outside of Jericho, things were changing very quickly.

First, Israel celebrated their first Passover meal in the new land.  The people gathered what they needed from this land that flowed with milk and honey–that must have been fun.  The meal was so amazing–but, then, the manna simply ceased.  All at once, Israel was able to provide for itself and from then on, this free people no longer had to rely upon God for daily provision. (Well, truth be told they still had to rely upon God, it just was not as obvious.)

Next, Joshua looks out and sees a man with a sword and he approaches the man.  He asks a fair question–“Are you friend or foe?” The man responds–“NO! I am the commander of the Army of the Lord!” God came and was ready to do battle; and Joshua got to be a part! Joshua asked what he should do…The Angel of the Lord replied, “Take off your shoes; you are standing on holy ground!” Joshua, God’s leader for Israel, was given the same message that his mentor Moses received at the beginning of the adventure. It was a new beginning for God’s people, and the excitement was just beginning. 

In our lives, we can pinpoint God’s hand most often when we experience change.  While change is usually difficult, if we look, we can often see God’s plan being played out for our benefit and according to His will.  Like Joshua, we simply need to be ready to listen and to respond to God’s call–no matter what the circumstances hold for us. Usually, change in our lives will lead to a closer walk with God and a much better perspective.

As His people, we simply must respond by faith, and humbly continue to seek the Lord with all our hearts. Our response and perspective should be as one who is safe in God’s shadow. Paul said it well in Colossians 3:4, “For, you have died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, you will also appear with Him in Glory!”

God Bless You


While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. 11 And the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes, and parched grain. 12 And the manna ceased the day after they ate of the produce of the land. And there was no longer manna for the people of Israel, but they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

The Commander of the Lord’s Army

13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” 14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped[c] and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” 15 And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

The Call–Exodus 3 Part 2

The Call of God was clear, concise and unmistakable. Moses the Hebrew prince, turned fugitive was being prepared by God to liberate a nation and then relocate them to an occupied but beautiful land that he had prepared and promised them. For Moses, this was a mind numbing overwhelming call to duty. How could he a lowly shepherd, lead a nation to its glorious liberation.

 To God, Moses was the perfect choice. He was once brash and entitled—but now he was a humble and grateful leader that was content to take on the day that lay before hm. Clearly, Moses was the least expected choice. But as God is want to do, he selected the least lokely leader so that the leader would follow and seek God’s leadership.

 In our journey, we are forever in the same position. God calls us to do that for which we are perfectly prepared for. Rarely are we the world’s choice for the likely candidate—but, as we humbly follow his lead, we find that his work in our lives has uniquely made us the right person for the call. It is critical that we listen and never shy away from God’s call. We need to see the world from his perspective and trust him to use us as he see fots. Then, we need to give him the glory for the plan he executes—don’t fear, God will prepare and protect us as we follow him and complete the journey he sets before us!

 God Bless You

But the Lord said: I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry against their taskmasters, so I know well what they are suffering. Therefore I have come down[e] to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them up from that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now indeed the outcry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen how the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 Now, go! I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.

Almost, But Not Quite–Genesis 11 Final

What do we know about Terah?  Oh, he was Abram’s Dad…The sad news is that he was the first man called to Canaan! He scooped up his little family and left Ur–on his way to Canaan.  But somewhere along the journey, he decided to stop in Harran.  Don’t get me wrong–Harran was a nice place, it just wasn’t where God was leading him and his family.  It was a convenient sidetrack that stopped his journey.

So many of God’s chosen take off on the journey the father calls them to and in the midst of it get sidetracked and rendered ineffective. Work, kids, illness, and a host of little foxes enter our lives and nip at us.  We then wake up at AARP + years and wonder where the time went and why did we lose our vision.  God says–its OK! Start a new vision today.  Read the word, pray continually and seek ways to serve.  You may have missed Canaan, but you do not have to miss God!!!

God Bless You

This is the account of Terah’s family line.

Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. 28 While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. 29 Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. 30 Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.

32 Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran

Follow Me–1 Mark 1 part 3

How easy is it to follow the Lord.  Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself take up his cross and follow me.” Luke 9.  When Jesus started out, he was looking for men that were to become the pillars of the church. He did not go to Jerusalem, he went to the shores of the sea of Galilee. There he found Andrew, Peter, James and John. Four men, all gainfully employed, simply walked away from all they knew to follow the son of God.  In the days to come, these men were able to share time, trials, meals and their hearts with the one true God.

They were the first to experience a personal relationship with God.  Until that time, God had a relationship directly with prophets, priests and kings.  Now he would begin building personal relationships with folks like us. The question is– are we willing to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him.  Would we walk away from our worldly life.  Would we submit to his plan and leadership.  Andrew, Peter, James and John left everything. In exchange, they were a part of something that changed the world.  Jesus wants us at all costs—help me Lord to follow you the same way.

God Bless You

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18 At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”

25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

In God We Trust–2 Samuel 24

In whom do you trust? On American currency, it says in God we trust.  But as you look at the actions of our nation, there is little that would evidence the phrase on our money. The nation of Israel mere known as God’s chosen people and throughout their history, they had acquired lands, received provision and won battles all with his direction and power.  David, the king after his own heart had relied upon God’s protection and provision throughout his life and reign…except for this time.  He decided he needed to know if he had ample troops to go to war and win.  This from the king that had defeated all enemies at God’s direction.  The need to be self-reliant overtook his need to be submitted to God and free from the enemies and entrapment of the world. It seemed like “no big deal”, but was as great a sin as a king or nation could commit.

In our lives, we are faced with the same challenge each day.  Do we focus on freedom or independence.  It is God that saves us and leads us to freedom.  If we trust and follow him, he will protect, provide and propel us into freedom.  But, like David, some days we just want to make sure that we are ready to take the helm…just in case God can’t handle it.  It is in those days that our desire to be independent from God rears its ugly head.  When we decide to live independent of God, we open ourselves up to the sins of pride, and all other forms of self rule that will destroy us.  We, like David need to recognize that independence and freedom are different and at polar opposite ends of the spectrum.  We simply need to seek him first and allow him to add everything else—Matt 6:33. As humble followers of God, we can experience his protection and provision and live a life free from captivity.  Help me Lord to walk humbly in your freedom.

God Bless You

But the king insisted that they take the census, so Joab and the commanders of the army went out to count the people of Israel. First they crossed the Jordan and camped at Aroer, south of the town in the valley, in the direction of Gad. Then they went on to Jazer, then to Gilead in the land of Tahtim-hodshi[b] and to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon. Then they came to the fortress of Tyre, and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went south to Judah[c] as far as Beersheba.

Having gone through the entire land for nine months and twenty days, they returned to Jerusalem. Joab reported the number of people to the king. There were 800,000 capable warriors in Israel who could handle a sword, and 500,000 in Judah.

10 But after he had taken the census, David’s conscience began to bother him. And he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt, Lord, for doing this foolish thing.”

It is not about the House–2 Samuel 7 part 1

It is a natural response.  When someone treats us with love and respect, we want to say thank you.  When someone shows amazing kindness and protects, restores and promotes us, we want to do the same for them.  That was what David wanted to do.  God spent years raising him up from a simple shepherd to becoming the greatest King Israel had ever known.  He had survived years of being pursued by Saul, years of civil war and the conquering of his main enemies—all due to God’s leadership and intervention. He wanted simply to give back.

That was not God’s plan.  God was bigger than a building and never wanted to live in a palace.  God is wild and wants to inhabit the hearts of his people.  In our day, we see the same desires in leaders—Let’s build big churches to show the world how great God is—not his plan.  God still wants to live in us and lead us.  He does not live in a building.  When we Go to the Church building, we go to worship and fellowship, but not to meet God—he should be living in us.  God simply is not about houses, he is about family.  Thanks Lord for making me part of your family.

God Bless You

  But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:

“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders[a] over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

I Samuel 23 part 1–Stay in the Fray

David could have simply laid low.  He was being pursued by the King and accused of treason. He and his small band were given no protection or provision. But he heard his people were in danger.  So, he did the wisest thing he could have done—He asked God what to do. God directed and protected him from what was before him. He was not out of danger, his circumstance had not really improved—but, he knew God was with him and was guiding him to the truth.

We often face similar choices.  We encounter trials and want simply to lay low and et life pass. But as we seek the Lord, He directs us to stay in the fray and trust him for protection and provision. When he then provides, he does not promise all will be well—but he meets our needs for that day and that event. When we choose to seek him, we must be prepared to do so in all circumstance. We must also listen for his direction as he leads us through what many would call “the valley of the shadow of death”.

We must remember that he who calls us is faithful and he will do it. In 1st Peter 5, he tells us to be alert and encouraged.  We are under attack, but in his time he will restore and bless us—simply because we are his.

God Bless You

One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. David asked the Lord, “Should I go and attack them?”

“Yes, go and save Keilah,” the Lord told him.

But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!”

So David asked the Lord again, and again the Lord replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.”

So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him.

Saul soon learned that David was at Keilah. “Good!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got him now! God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself in a walled town!” So Saul mobilized his entire army to march to Keilah and besiege David and his men.

You Got A Friend-I Samuel 19 part 1

Saul’s fear had won out.  He lost all sense of propriety and honor.  He had no interest in God or his plan, But God was still in charge.  God gave David a friend in Saul’s son Jonathan.  What a gift. Jonathan was heir to the throne God gave to David.  Rather than becoming bitter and feeling cheated, Jonathan became David’s top advocate and ally. Saul must have been amazed.  He wanted to clear Jonathan’s way to the throne but, Jonathan was standing in the way. 

When we follow the Lord, we realize he sets out the journey’s path.  We can no more change the course than we can create a universe.  We simply trust and follow God, and he will make the path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will make your path straight.” Jonathan and David understood, Saul did not.  If we honor God he will lead, guide and protect us.  He will put folks in our lives that will sacrifice, encourage and be there for us.  He will use us in others lives to do the same.  We simply have to submit to see the great blessing of such folks in our lives.  Thanks Lord for giving me such great friends and family.

God Bless You

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”

Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”

Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.”

1 Samuel 9 The People’s King

The people’s king—Saul a Benjaminite left to find his father’s donkeys.  But God had a bigger plan.  He led him straight to Samuel and he prepped Samuel to meet the 1st human King of Israel.  He was the perfect pick from man’s point of view.  Tall, Strong and Handsome.  He was a good kid that was concerned for his Father and his father’s stock.  He was a strong warrior and was not a male Diva.  But, he was not God.  That was the point.  The people of Israel were ready to trade their life of freedom following their heavenly father—for following a good man.  While that choice does not sound horrific on its face, it is horrific.  It is horrific because there simply is no good second choice other than following god.

In our lives, we often are faced with the challenge of choosing between God and Good.  They seem so close.  They are only a letter apart…BUT!!!!! That difference is the beginning of the end of close fellowship with the Lord. It always starts with a slight deviation but, then like a snowball, as it progresses it moves more quickly and grows more giant and out of control.  We are simply not capable of dabbling in idol worship.  When we begin to replace God, we quickly replace him completely.  We embrace things we once abhorred.  We overlook things we used to stand against.  No one wakes up one day and says I want to disassociate from God—it is a slow progression that requires great pain and change to reverse.  It is simply best and easiest to seek him and him only.  Simple, freeing and complete.

Do Not Replace God With ANYONE or ANYTHING!

God Bless You

9 There was a Benjamite, a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else…14 They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

15 Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”

17 When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.”