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.

The Plague Of Blood–Exodus 7 Continued

There was little doubt about the outcome of Moses’ demand to free the Israelites. Both the Egyptians and the Israelites knew that It would take beyond amazing to change the heart of Pharaoh. Still the plague of blood was a stage setting event to say the least. If we remember that God was not nearly as interested in Pharaoh’s reaction as he was in the reaction of the Canaanite world for years to come, then the message of each plague rings clearer for us.

 The Nile was a great river—a sweet river. The water was known as wonderful around the known world. So for the entire supply to be destroyed, for the fish to die, such an event hit the Egyptian nation at their most crucial core—survival. every sense was affected. Hunger, thirst, smell, sight and mind were completely rattled—No matter where they turned—there was no relief.

 Meanwhile, the Israelites had water. God prepared them for the plague and they were unaffected. God wanted to set his chosen apart and make sure that the people of Egypt knew that they were no longer in charge of his people—HE was. The growing thirst had to exacerbate their jealousy and fear. The worst news for the people of Egypt—“They ain’t seen nothing yet.”

 God makes his messages clear. Early submission to his lead will always beat a hardened heart. In addition, as with Pharaoh—we have to remember that our choices impact so many others. We as a people should live to honor God, if for no other reason , because it will change lives. Failure to do so will also change lives. Sadly, as Pharaoh showed the world—that kind of change will neither be well received nor well remembered.

God Bless You

  Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. 15 Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the river. Confront him on the bank of the Nile, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake. 16 Then say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness. But until now you have not listened. 17 This is what the Lord says: By this you will know that I am the Lord: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood. 18 The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’”

A False Teacher’s Destiny–2 Peter 2

God takes seriously the diluting or falsifying of his message of hope and freedom.  He does not tolerate those that would use his name to extort, intimidate, control or in any other way deceive his chosen ones.  Like any father, he could tolerate someone attacking or trying to lead him astray, but if you mess with his kids, it will not go well for you.

So many have tried to use God’s message of freedom for personal gain or glory.  He tells us that the end for them will be awful.  We have to seek the truth.  We also have to carefully discern the message those who teach are spreading.  If their focus is on anyone other than the Lord, it is a sign they are not teaching the truth.  Their message should be clear, consistent and Christ centered, otherwise its veracity is suspect.  We need to follow the true message and teachers that are committed to its communication.  Help me Lord to listen to and teach the truth!

God Bless You

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

The New Covenant–Hebrews 10

There is so much rhetoric about the old and new covenants in the Bible and theological circles. To greatly simplify–God set a placeholder for his people–It was a series of visible ways to describe the process to come.  He gave them laws, he set up a system of sacrifices, he gave them priests and prophets to bridge the gaps between God and man.  All of these things were done to prepare for the coming of Christ.  Once He arrived, those other things became obsolete.

We could never keep the law in its entirety.  We could never wipe away our sins with sacrifices.  We could never have a meaningful relationship with God by going through a priest or prophet. 

The new covenant whites the laws on our heart–We want to follow the Lord because we love him not because we believe the rules wil save us.  We are freed from making sacrifices, because he did that for us.  Finally we are granted direct access to God–forever and no longer need an intermediary.  The new covenant is personal and requires only that we trust God and follow him.  God makes it simple, bu, he never promises it will be easy–Follow him daily and closely.

God Bless You

First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 13 There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14 For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.

15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says,

16
“This is the new covenant I will make
with my people on that day,[c] says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.”[d]

17 Then he says,

“I will never again remember
their sins and lawless deeds.”[e]

18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices

Jesus–Greater than the Angels–Hebrews 1 Part 2

There is no doubt that Jesus is Lord of all. But often, those that do not know God lump him in with other spiritual beings.  They consider Jesus like any other angel…Well, that simply is not the truth.  Jesus is God! he is not a spirit, he is not an angel, He is God.  Men try to politely cast him as a great prophet, a great teacher or some sort of deluded “do-gooder”–But whether men try to minimize his deity or classify him as just another angel, he simply is wholly and uniquely God.

Knowing that, we need to honor him as God and follow him as our Lord.   He loves us and simply wants this journey to prepare us for an eternity with him. But, we cannot mistake his love, grace and mercy for signs of weakness or denouncing his authority.  He is Lord first and Savior second.  As such, we must follow him and submit to his lordship in order to know and receive his saving grace and mercy. It was never about “Praying the Prayer”.  It was always about submitting to him your will and your life.

God Bless You

For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:

“You are my Son.
    Today I have become your Father.[a]

God also said,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son.”[b]

And when he brought his supreme[c] Son into the world, God said,[d]

“Let all of God’s angels worship him.”[e]

Regarding the angels, he says,

“He sends his angels like the winds,
    his servants like flames of fire.”[f]

But to the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
    You rule with a scepter of justice.
You love justice and hate evil.
    Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you,
    pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”

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.

Unwelcome in the Camp of the Enemy–I samuel 22 part 1

 David felt betrayed.  He had followed God’s lead, he was effective in battle.  He was the kings comforter and son-in –law.  On paper he was right on track for the throne. But the King wanted him dead.  So he started out to the one place he knew the King would not follow—the enemy camp.  It was not long, though, that David realized that the enemy was still the enemy even when he was betrayed by his father- in- law.  He figured he would be welcomed to assist—but he was the warrior that killed thousands of the enemy. You simply cannot change teams and expect a warm welcome.

It is the same with the family of God.  When we walk with the Lord, we will encounter trials and tribulation.  Sometimes it feels as if we are abandoned and all alone.  For some the response is to walk away from God.  They figure that they will be welcomed into the world and its culture as a new recruit.  But, the truth is once you follow God, you will never fit into the camp of the world.  You will be despised as hypocritical or at best tolerated as one that is lost and confused.  There will never be provision or protection in the enemies camp.  You will never feel at home.  Stay the course through trials and trust that God loves you and has a plan.  You will find peace, protection and provision on your father’s house.

God Bless You

 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances:

“‘Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands’?”

12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.

14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

God’s Amazing Presence–I Samuel 19 part 2

There is something inevitable about God’s presence.  When we are truly in his presence he remains Large and in Charge.  We so often try to control God’s plan only to find that such control is but an illusion. Saul had decided to take his kingdom into his own hands and Kill God’s anointed King. He sent troops to capture and Kill David and even chased him personally.  But, Both Saul and his men were stopped—Not by some band of Warrior angels, but, simply by God’s spirit. The spirit completely stripped and disarmed Saul—before Samuel…That had to be different than Saul planned.

God will not be mocked, controlled or usurped.  His plan will ultimately prevail and as we watch—we will see his hand at work. He will protect us in the presence of our enemies.  He will send the right provision for our lives and friend or foe—in his presence he will run the show.  Walk with him, follow him humbly and watch his presence rule the day—He is Lord!

God Bless You

18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: “David is in Naioth at Ramah”; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?”

“Over in Naioth at Ramah,” they said.

23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

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.”

I Samuel 18 final—The Price of Fear

Fear is a crippling disease. It binds senses and causes perfectly decent people to do awful things.  Saul was anointed King of Israel.  He allowed the position make him selfish.  That selfishness drove him away from God and cost him his relationship with Samuel, and ended his legacy. It also made him extremely fearful.  He was deathly afraid of losing all that he had attained. Sadly, he had already lost it. But the fear also shaped his decisions, his relationships and his ability to lead.  He saw David’s success and knew that he was walking with God’s anointing.  He knew it because he had lived it.  He also knew that privilege was only afforded to Kings! Rather than repent and humbly follow the plan of God Saul was allowing fear to drive him to do mean and horrific things.

Today, we are all subject to fear. We know that God does not give us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of power and of a sound mind (2Timothy 1:7).  Yet, when we try to be independent and ignore God’s plan—we, like Saul can be driven to fear and away from the peace of God.  Great news, though, If we will acknowledge our inability to live independent of God—Confess our sin; then humbly allow him to direct our journey—follow his lead; then he will give us peace. God is in the business of granting peace not causing Chaos.  He is there to bear our burden not cause it. It is the greatest of all heart issues—Commandment Number One—YOU SHALL NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GOD BEFORE ME!!!!! Let God be God in your life.  Fear will be replaced with peace and independence will be replaced with true and complete freedom.

God Bless You

Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.

10 The next day an evil[a] spirit from God came forcefully on Saul. He was prophesying in his house, while David was playing the lyre, as he usually did. Saul had a spear in his hand 11 and he hurled it, saying to himself, “I’ll pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had departed from Saul. 13 So he sent David away from him and gave him command over a thousand men, and David led the troops in their campaigns. 14 In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him. 15 When Saul saw how successful he was, he was afraid of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them in their campaigns…

26 When the attendants told David these things, he was pleased to become the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king so that David might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

28 When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, 29 Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days.

30 The Philistine commanders continued to go out to battle, and as often as they did, David met with more success than the rest of Saul’s officers, and his name became well known.