Day 15: Joshua 10:29-43
Southern Cities conquered
A key aspect to understanding Joshua’s conquest of the Southern cities is found in verse 40:
He totally destroyed…just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.
We may be uncomfortable with the uncompromising language and the violence used in Israel’s campaign of conquest. But this is aimed at those who engaged in practices that were detestable to God and who were set on continuing them. God had given them over to destruction and Joshua understood the uncompromising nature of his mission.
Joshua followed God’s instructions completely.
After each area was conquered, we read a phrase or one similar to:
then Joshua and all Israel with him moved on from…(see verses 29,31,34, verse 35 – went up from).
Note a key principle here:
Completion comes before moving on.
Joshua followed through completely on God’s plans and strategies for the Southern conquest before moving on after each completed stage. We could make a comparison here between Joshua completing all of God’s will, and years later, Israel’s first king, Saul, who made such a promising start (see 1 Samuel 11), but who became the ‘nearly but not quite’ man, who did almost all of God’s will (see 1 Samuel 15), not totally completing God’s commands (ref 1 Samuel 15:11) and who, therefore, was not positioned to move forward in the purposes of God.
Let us be a people who understand the direction God is moving, but who also understand the areas of our lives He wants completion over, as this better positions us to move forward to the next stage of God’s purposes for us. God has amazing plans for us, plans to bring us success and hope (Jeremiah 29:11), greater plans than we fully comprehend (1 Corinthians 2:9) and He has promised to complete what He has begun in us through Christ (Philippians 1:6). Perhaps we yearn to move forward in God’s plan but we don’t know the next step. To help us in this, note two defining principles from this passage of scripture:
They captured what God had given to them – the phrase ‘captured it’ appears continuously, verses 32, 35, 37, 39, 40. As we look to the next season of moving forward, let us take captive those patterns of thinking and behaviour, those giants and strongholds, which have been raiding territory God has called us to possess (see also 2 Corinthians 10:5). Remember that we are more than conquerors in Christ – Romans 8:37, and we can do all things through him who strengthens us – Philippians 4:13.
They moved on when it was time to move on. After each victory, Joshua did not settle down to ‘admire the view.’ There was more to do, more territory to be taken, more victories to be enjoyed. Perhaps a complacency has set in whereby we have enjoyed a measure of success and have settled down rather than press ahead. Yet, God calls us forward! With God, there is always more! So, let us not settle, let us be ready to move forward.
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