Joshua Chapter Eleven (Part Two)

Introduction: A key idea in Joshua is that God blesses obedience. Today, we hope to discuss the conquest of northern Canaan.

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Body:

Read Joshua 11:12-15

C. Conquest of Northern Canaan (continued). There is a huge coalition gathered against Joshua and his army. God reassures him that he will be victorious.

He and his army attack the coalition. The enemy is completed destroyed, horses are crippled, and chariots are destroyed. Joshua obeyed what God told Moses to tell him.

Applications -

- The spoils of war. Notice in vss. 13-14 that the cities were not burned because God had promised in passages like Deuteronomy 6:10-11 that God’s people would inhabit cities they did not build.

In like manner, if we would just trust and obey God, God has a way of providing all that we need and more. Let’s work on trusting and obeying God.

Think about how God is able to supply all of our financial, health, and relational needs as well as our need for personal peace and joy and community peace.

- Same team. Notice in vs. 15 that Moses and Joshua were on the same team. There are too many people who try to pit leaders against one another. In church, it is not strange to try to create tension between Pastors.

In our community, it is not strange to try to pit civic leaders against one another. In reality, as different as a leader’s style may be from another, all of the true leaders are aiming for the same thing - the well-being of the group.

Let’s work on appreciating God’s use of different personality types to carry out His will to bless His people.

Read Joshua 11:16-23

D. Summary of the Conquest. There is a recounting of Joshua’s victories. Kings were killed and land was captured. The Gibeonites were spared. It was God’s will to destroy the people in the area. The land finally rested from war.

Applications -

- Long-term faithfulness. Notice in vss. 16-18 that it took long-term faithfulness to accomplish all that is listed. In like manner, we must develop the long-term faithfulness or daily dedication needed to accomplish what God is calling us to accomplish today.

We cannot expect to gain in days what it takes years of faithful work to accomplish. Let’s work on having long-term faithfulness. The only thing that I know that will fuel long term faithfulness is a relationship with God that overrides disappointment with people, results, and even one’s self.

- Keeping our word. Notice in vs. 19 that God’s people kept their word. In like manner, it is so important for us to keep our word today. We can start with basic stuff like trying to live up to our church covenant and living by our wedding vows.

There is something terrible wrong, when we promise to study, serve, and give each first Sunday and yet so many fail to reach even the minimum standard of studying, serving, and giving.

Without strong disciples, the church’s promises of being a light and being salt are not accomplishable. Let’s work on keeping our word.

- God’s hardening of a person’s heart. Notice in vs. 20 that God hardened the people’s hearts, so that they would be destroyed. First, it seems strange that God would harden a person’s heart, so that they can be destroyed. However, God is God, and He does what He chooses.

Second, we should appreciate that sometimes people are hard hearted for God’s greater purpose. Thus, instead of being so bent out of shape, when people are still hard hearted, we should do our best and trust God with the rest.

Third, we should do all that we can to make sure that we are not being heard hearted towards God’s will. When we are hard hearted towards God’s will, terrible and destructive things are subject to happen to us. Let’s work on appreciating that God can harden the hearts of some.

- Time period and stewardship. Notice in vs. 23 that after the war, there was rest and the division of the inheritance. First, war doesn’t last all of the time. Just like seasons come and seasons go, we should be thankful that war and troubled times don’t last all of the time.

Second, we should learn to appreciate periods of rest. Too often, we spend rest periods reliving periods of war, in our minds, or previewing wars that are to come, in our minds.

Third, the people of God were to treat the blessings received from their hard work as an inheritance from the Lord. Thus, they were to take care of it as a sacred trust. In like manner, all that we have is an inheritance and should be taken care of as with a sacred trust.

This applies to our wealth, health, relationships, mental well-being, contribution to our communities, and all that God has placed in our trust. 

Let’s work on appreciating what time period we are in and being a wise steward of our inheritance.

Conclusion: Let’s work on obeying God. God has much for those obey His will.

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